Uform completes major £3m expansion creating 40 new jobs

A Toomebridge-based kitchen component supplier has completed a £3m expansion of its premises, creating 40 new jobs in the last year.  Part of the investment was funded by Danske Bank.

Uform was founded in 1993 by the Donnelly family and specialises in the manufacture and wholesale of kitchen furnishings.  Today, the business employs 165 staff and recently received the prestigious award of Best Overall UK Kitchen Brand.  A longstanding relationship with manufacturers in Italy means Uform imports a majority of its materials before customising them to meet the needs of the retailer. The company works in tandem with the manufactures to design and innovate an aspirational and inspirational product portfolio.

Currently the business is distributing upwards of 1,000 kitchens a week for retailers in the UK and Ireland.

The latest expansion is part three of a four phase development to help the business reach the targets set out in its strategic plan.

Simon Oliphant, Managing Director at Uform, said: “Three years ago we started working on a long term plan to grow the business.  With phase three recently completed, we have added another 60,000 sq. ft of additional factory space, bringing our premises to 122,000 sq. ft. We’ve carried out two major factory extensions and invested in two new state of the art paint lines.  The technology is a first for our sector in the UK and Ireland and will greatly increase our efficiencies, capacity and quality whilst adding significantly to our product portfolio. Enhancing our Kitchen Stori brand is critical to the ongoing success of the company.”

He added: “The company has grown rapidly with turnover increasing from £8.6m to £22.8m in four years.  Danske Bank have been instrumental in supporting the scaling of the business. Whilst the company could have self-financed the investments, the funding has allowed for accelerated growth and provided a level of certainty and confidence to move forward aggressively. In addition, the extended facility they provided to address currency fluctuation has been well received. We are exposed to significant Euro fluctuations but the bank’s FX risk management offered short to medium term certainty for customers offsetting some of the costs.”

Discussing the plans for phase four, Mr Oliphant said: “We have some additional land surrounding our current facility so we will be looking to further extend the factory and improve our distribution centre.  We have also set ourselves a target of reaching a turnover of £34m by 2019 which we feel is a realistic goal.”

Brian Shane, Corporate Banking Manager at Danske Bank, commented: “The latest expansion to the Uform premises is a vote of confidence in the sector and local area by the Donnelly family.  The growth of the business in the last four years has been remarkable and shows no signs of slowing down.

“The company has set itself very ambitious growth plans for the next two years and we are delighted to be working with them to help achieve these goals.”
 

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