Tyre sensor firm Schrader sees deflation in sales as profits cut in half

Company planning new £16.5m R&D and office hub at Global Point

Sensata-Schrader, which makes tyre pressure systems, is laying off 125 staff in Carrickfergus
Sensata-Schrader, which makes tyre pressure systems, saw its sales and profits deflate in the last year

Co Antrim car components maker Schrader Electronics has seen a deflation in sales in a difficult trading year in which its profits also halved.

The company, whose products include tyre pressure monitors and other sensor equipment, also cut more than £5 million off its wages bill, despite shedding only a handful of jobs in the 2022 calendar year, for which it has just published its accounts.

Schrader, which has operations in Carrickfergus and Antrim, was established in 1988 but since 2014 has been owned by the Sensata Group.

Its Northern Ireland operation develops sensors and systems which are fitted in cars and heavy goods vehicles.

Although domiciled in the UK, the parent group - which has more than 21,000 employees and global operations in 16 countries - does around half of its business in the US, so publishes its accounts in dollars.

During 2022 its turnover fell from $301.6m (£241.5m) to £269m (£215.4m) and profits for the year after tax came in at $15.1m (£12.1m) against $29m (£23.2m) the year before.

And whereas in 2021 a dividend of $250m (£200.2m) went to shareholders, this time the directors did not approve a payment.

The company is renowned for its research and development work, but during the year its R&D spend decreased from $31.2m (£24.5m) to $28m (just over £22m), which Schrader said was mainly due to internal and contract labour costs.

According to its accounts, the company had 824 people on its payroll (down from 836 a year earlier).

Schrader said at the balance sheer date, it had not paid contributions of more than $421,000 (about £332,000) to the employees’ defined contribution pension plan.

In June 2023 Schrader launched plans for a new £16.5 million bespoke research, testing and office hub for its engineering, software development and services teams.

Computer generated impression of the technology centre Sensata plans to build in Newtownabbey.
Computer generated impression of the technology centre Sensata plans to build in Newtownabbey.

The facility at the Invest NI-owned Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey will support 150 jobs for suppliers and sub-contractors during the two-year building phase (the first part of which is due to complete by December 2024).

It will accommodate between 450 and 500 employees, and will complement the company’s existing Antrim manufacturing site.