Flat trading year for Cooneen in 'competitive market'

Gary McDonald Business Editor

TYRONE-based textiles firm Cooneen By Design has described market conditions over the last year as "very competitive" after posting results generally in line with those of the previous trading period.

Seen as one of the largest and most diversified garment manufacturers in Europe, with a stable group of companies operating in a range of clothing markets globally, Cooneen reported sales of £70.4 million in the 12 months to the end of last November.

This was up a fraction on the 2019 revenues of £70.2m, and it translated into a bottom-line profit of £3.9m (a shade down on £4m a year earlier).

And it means the group - which is part-owned by millionaire industrialist John B McGuckian (81) - now has assets of £73.2 million.

The accounts show that the company, formerly known as Cooneen Textiles and which trades principally from Fivemiletown, increased its payroll over the year.

It now employs an average of 218 staff (up from 191 previously), and its total wages bill for the year rose from £7m to £7.6m

Its key directors were paid a total of £462,660 (a slight increase on the previous year), with the highest paid of them - group managing director Eugene Greene - earning £299,807.

Cooneen has more than 50 years' experience in the clothing industry, manufacturing products as diverse as military gear, character bedclothes and nightwear for children.

During the pandemic it has been active in supporting communities by manufacturing face coverings and assisting the national volunteer networks created to produce scrubs for the NHS.

Cooneen by Design is part of the Cooneen Group, whose subsidiaries include Hawk Holdings in the USA, a supplier of specialist armour wear. Its clients include the US Army, for whom it provides bullet-proof vests.

Besides its operations in Tyrone, the group also has offices in England, China, India, Bangladesh and the US.

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