Co Antrim manufacturer Ryobi vows to return to profit after reporting £4m loss

Ryobi Aluminium Casting, based in Carrickfergus, reported a £4 million loss for the year ending December 31
Ryobi Aluminium Casting, based in Carrickfergus, reported a £4 million loss for the year ending December 31

THE Northern Ireland arm of Japanese manufacturing giant Ryobi has vowed to return to profit after reporting a £4 million loss last year.

Ryobi Aluminium Casting, which makes components for the automobile and electronics industries from a 79,500 sq ft site in Carrickfergus has seen an almost £5 million fall in profits for the year ending December 31, with project delays cited as as one of the key reasons.

The Co Antrim subsidiary reported a loss before tax of £4.2 million last year compared to a profit of £862,442 in 2015. Turnover though remained steady at £75.2 million.

Throughout the year the company also reported a 15 per cent increase in staff numbers, rising from 395 to 455, bringing the annual wage bill up from £12.9 million to £15.4 million

The board of directors have said that high project launch costs for new contracts, lower than expected ramp up volumes and delays in major projects were to blame for the loss, but expect the company to move out of the red sooner rather than later.

In the director's report accompanying the annual accounts the company states it is "planning to return to profit in 2017" and outlined the various issues it faced last year.

"The company has secured new customer contracts, which gave considerable launch issues in 2016, additional overtime and extra shifts were required in order to meet customer commitments. Also a delay in a new product launch caused by late customer stipulated design change resulted in a drop in overall sales and return on investment. However, the majority of these issues have now been overcome and stable production commenced in 2017, reaching full production volumes in 2018/2019."

Ryobi has said it has committed to a "major capital investment programme" over the next three years, which will sustain employment over this period and has the "continued support" of its parent company for "at least 12 months".

Looking to the future the Northern Ireland based company said further growth is forecast, but noted economic uncertainty, part of which has been created by Brexit.

"The UK vote to leave the EU has increased the level of economic uncertainty for 2017. The level of impact that the referendum result will have on the company is uncertain."

"The company is committed to the future growth and development of the business. We continue to expand our customer base and product range. The company will commence new contracts in 2017 and 2018. These will strengthen the future growth and development of the business within the UK," they added.