Multi-million pound investment by Armstrong Medical creates 24 jobs

Invest NI's new chief executive Kevin Holland (left) with Armstrong Medical's executive chairman John Armstrong and financial director Dawn Hart
Gary McDonald Business Editor

SPECIALIST medical supply firm Armstrong is creating 24 jobs at its newly expanded 90,000 sq ft factory at Wattstown business park in Coleraine, bringing its total workforce to more than 150.

The family-owned company, which supplies products for use in anaesthesia, respiratory and critical care, has invested £8 million into growing the business, helped by £800,000 of support from Invest NI.

The expansion includes an investment in new machinery and a new 26,000 sq ft warehouse to accommodate increased production.

The company, founded in 1984 by John Armstrong (now its executive chairman), currently exports to more than 60 countries, and the geographical split of its output is roughly a third each in the UK, EU and rest of the world.

Mr Armstrong said: “Our investment in new machinery, premises and people will enable us to double our output and meet customer demand.

“With an increased production area, an enlarged warehouse and more office space, we will be able to introduce new products, and have the ability to scale up operations on existing products.

“Our business continues to grow – in 2018 we secured an important contract with GE Healthcare.

“This expansion gives us much more capacity and potential to meet these growth ambitions, and with Invest NI's support, we are able to do this more quickly than if we were doing it on our own.”

Invest NI's recently-appointed chief executive Kevin Holland, in his first major investment announcement, visited Coleraine to confirm the jobs boost (12 of the 24 posts are already in place).

He said: “This investment is a significant commitment by Armstrong Medical and gives them the operational capacity to meet growing demand. The company already has a strong export business and is committed to growing this further.

“The company is involved in our Scaling Programme and we have been working closely with John and his team both in Northern Ireland and overseas to support their ambitious growth plans for the business.

“The increase in production levels will significantly enhance its competitiveness and ability to innovate. The investment is an exciting step that will see this important employer in the north west scale more quickly.”

The last financial report published by Armstrong Medical revealed that while turnover held at £11.7m in the year to May 2018, the company's pre-tax profits fell 52.8 per cent to £0.75m.

It is due to publish 2018/19 accounts in the coming weeks.

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