'Solid trading year' as Rasharkin kitchen firm beefs up staff numbers

The £28m Marlin Apart-hotel in London, in which Woodland supplied 236 bedrooms with kitchenettes
The £28m Marlin Apart-hotel in London, in which Woodland supplied 236 bedrooms with kitchenettes

CO Antrim interior furniture manufacturer Woodland Kitchens NI has delivered another "strong trading performance" in a year when profits and sales dipped, but staff numbers increased by nearly a third.

The company, founded by Kilrea man Brian McCloskey (56) in 1987 and based in Rasharkin, has established itself as one of Ireland's leading manufacturers of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture.

Over the years it has partnered with some of the largest multinational companies to supply tailor-made cabinets, and its distribution network extends throughout the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe and into the Middle East.

Accounts filed to Companies House covering the 12 months to the end of February show that Woodland had sales of £11.8 million compared to £12.6 million a year earlier.

Gross profit slipped back from £2.6m to just shy of £2.4m, though the company it still operating on a healthy 20 per cent margin - well above industry averages.

Operating profit went back from £824,310 to £749,932 over the period.

But employment at the firm jumped by nearly a third from 111 to 142 (most of the new hires were production staff), which in turn bumped up Woodland's wages bill from £2.7m to more than £3 million.

Among the notes with the filed accounts, Woodland said that at the 2017 year end there had been a capital commitment of £717,718 set aside for plant and machinery which were not delivered, and those assets are recognised in the current accounting year.

A strategic report accompanying the results said Woodland is looking for further expansion in the future, adding: "The company is committed to the long-term creation of shareholder value by increasing its market share in the UK kitchen and bathroom manufacturing market.

"The economic environment continues to evolve and is making a return to relative stability and certainty. Overall, in the coming year the company aims to increase revenue, operating profits and the number of customers it reaches.

"It will continue to develop relations with suppliers and customers, generate new business where possible and increase retention levels while remaining competitive."

Woodland - which once famously supplied the kitchen and wardrobes used in the 'Dark Knight Rises' Batman movie - has been involved in a number of high-profile schemes in Britain.

It manufactured and installed 236 bedrooms with kitchenettes on the £28m Marlin Apart-hotel in London's Waterloo and also designed and made the kitchenettes, solid worktops and slide-robes for 146 bedrooms at the £21m Adagio Apart-hotel in Edinburgh's “old town”.