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Record US exports signals continued growth

2nd January 2024

Significant investment in new jobs, infrastructure and technology has secured an increased turnover of over £11million for Ulster Carpets Ltd in the 2022/23 financial year.

As a fourth-generation family-owned and run company, we have demonstrated renewed positivity through a major redevelopment plan at our Portadown headquarters that has created nearly 50 jobs in the last 12 months to meet increasing demand.

Across the Ulster Carpets Group, a £3million investment in new technology at wool processing company, Ulster Yarns, has created 30 new jobs in Yorkshire.

In June 2023, the Ulster Group continued its Mergers & Acquisitions strategy with the acquisition of iconic British flooring brand, Alternative Flooring. The purchase was fully funded from Ulster’s own cash reserves and further diversifies the Group within the flooring sector.

One of the new high-speed PSYLO™ looms at Ulster Carpets.
Investment in new technology across the Ulster Carpets Group includes state-of-the-art high-speed PSYLO™ looms with patented technology.

Record turnover in the US Contract market was offset by the prevailing difficulties associated with COVID, global energy costs, inflation and the cost of living crisis, leading to similar levels of underlying operating profit to the previous year, excluding the sale of land.

Our latest accounts show that turnover has increased by over £11.8million to £79.9million, with the gross margin reducing from 41% to 38%. After taxation, the Group has reported a £2.7million profit.

In his Chairman’s Statement, Dr John Wilson expressed optimism following the record success in the competitive US market, new projects secured in the UK, European and Marine markets and strong results and a positive outlook for Ulster Carpets Group companies Roger Oates Design and Danfloor.

He said, “The year under review marked the first full year’s trading in the absence of any COVID related Government support policies. While the pandemic is now over, there is still a persistent tail of disruption which is taking time to fully settle down. Taking those two points into consideration it was pleasing to see that operating profits have remained steady.

“Global energy costs and suboptimal productivity have put pressure on margins but we expect that with increasing numbers of high speed looms productivity and margins will improve.

“Rebuilding capacity at our headquarters in Portadown continues, with a committed investment programme. As intimated in last year’s accounts, it will be into 2024 before the full benefits of this will be realised.”

Investment in the main manufacturing site in Portadown will result in a complete renewal of most of the infrastructure and buildings alongside the addition of the latest automated technologies.