Fast-growth trailer-maker SDC 'has Brexit plan in place'

Enda Cushnahan of SDC Trailers
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BOSSES at Toomebridge-based SDC Trailers admit they've formulated plans to ensure the business's unerring growth continues in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Latest accounts reveal that SDC, the UK and Ireland's market-leading trailer manufacturer, had sales of £175 million in the 2018 calendar year (that was compared to £122.2m between April and December the previous year).

The company - which is owned by China International Marine Containers (CIMC), the largest make of containers in the world - also returned a bottom-line profit of £5.2 million, its latest accounts show.

But within a strategic report accompanying the accounts, SDC directors, who are led by Enda Cushnahan, put a firm focus on Brexit.

They said: "The key business risks affecting us include increasing raw material prices, competition, market demand and the uncertainties over Brexit.

"The directors do not consider the ongoing Brexit uncertainty to have had a material impact on the company's performance to date.

"But we have made plans to cope with business disruption in the event that the UK does leave the EU without a deal, with a particular focus given to supply chain management, exchange rate flucuations and the needs of foreign national employees."

SDC, which produces around 10,000 trailer units a year, mainly for the domestic market but some for export into international markets, celebrated its 40th anniversary during the year, during which it completed a £7 million expansion at its Toome site, adding 60,000 sq ft of additional space and 50 jobs in the process.

The factory expansion was primarily to facilitate piping and wiring operations and the paint process. The new facility complements SDC's sward-winning training academies and ensure a better working environment for staff.

The number of employees at SDC Trailers over the period rose from 659 to 693, and the firm paid out more than £23m in salaries, with the highest paid director taking £291,000.

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