Northern scouting firms post £560m in global sales

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Gary McDonald Editor-in-Chief

October 14, 2022 03:00

NORTHERN IRELAND – and in particular central Ulster – has confirmed its position as a global hub for the design and manufacture of advanced materials handling and recycling equipment.

Because in the space of just a few weeks, four companies in the sector have filed annual results with Companies House which show their combined turnover has soared to £560m and their gross profit is over £80m of pounds sterling.

And between them, the four companies – which are just a sample of those in the sector – employ 2,200 people and pay annual salaries of around £80million.

The Omagh-Dungannon hinterland is home to a unique group of solution providers who excel in engineering, are innovative and truly global, and their world-class products have applications in different industries including construction, mining , quarries, demolition, ports, agriculture, airports and recycling.

Much of the industry in this area grew out of the success of its 1966 founding of Powerscreen, which was sold in 1986 and eventually purchased by New York-listed Terex Corporation in the 1990s.

Terex GB Ltd, whose UK operations are largely centered on huge manufacturing sites in Omagh and Dungannon, increased sales in 2021 by almost a tenth of a billion pounds, from 318.4 million pounds to £413.9 million.

Around £76 million of Terex’s sales are generated in the UK, of which £92 million is in Europe and the bulk (£246 million) in global markets, primarily in Asia and the southern hemisphere .

The company’s pre-tax profit – whose number of employees was largely static at 1,735 and whose payroll stands at £60.5m – fell to £33.4m to £56.2m, and after tax Terex took in £48.6m.

Cookstown-based screening giant CDE Global, meanwhile, has seen sales rise from £64.3m to £97.3m in the last calendar year.

Profit before tax rose from £5.8m to £7.2m, and after tax its net profit was £6.9m (2020: £5.8m).

Founded in 1992 and controlled by Tony Convery (61) and his wife Rosemary, CDE has designed, manufactured and commissioned more wet processing plants than any other company in the world and has delivered over 1,000 projects.

Accounts showed he had increased his workforce to 315 and his wage bill had risen to £14.7m. The highest-paid director’s salary nearly doubled to £505,481.

Smaller industry players have also filed results in the past month, RM Dungannon Ltd (formerly Maximus Crushing and Screening) and also Conexpo (NI) Ltd in Belfast.

RM (Rubble Master) at Coalisland Road in Dungannon, whose clientele is international and emerging markets including South America, Australia and the United States, said sales rose from 9.4 to 15 £.9 million.

The company – part of the RM Group since 2018, which is headquartered in Austria in Linz – reported a modest gross profit, but after tax and administrative costs, it recorded a net loss of £ 1.2 million.

RM has 120 staff (up from 91 in 2020) and had a payroll of £4.2m.

Meanwhile, aggregates company Conexpo in Belfast, which uses stone quarried from Co Down to cover many of mainland Europe’s busiest roads, saw sales rise last year for the fifth consecutive year, from £29-31.1m.

Conexpo, whose main business is the supply of high value polished stone (PSV) aggregates, saw its pre-tax profit rise slightly to £5.7m, but after a higher tax bill than the year previous year, its net profit for the financial year was £4.4m compared to £4.7m the previous year.

Accounts show it has 39 employees and its wages for the year were £1.7million.

For over 50 years, Northern Ireland Mobile Equipment has provided solutions for the processing of sand, aggregates and other bulk materials, and recently this technology has become a preferred solution for recovering value from waste. that would otherwise end up in landfill.

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