LISBURN, Northern Ireland—Smiley Monroe Ltd. is planning a "physical presence" in North America on the back of increasing demand.
The Lisburn-based manufacturer of heady-duty conveyor belts said July 25 that it had a milestone year in 2017 with expansion into new markets and sales growth of 25 percent. Similar results are expected in 2018, which Smiley Monroe said shuld be "record-breaking" year.
The company said it has doubled belt output to almost 700 belts a week as result of high demand for its core product, namely endless belts and custom cut parts.
In February, the company announced winning new deals in the U.S. and Asia, the total of which was worth about $350,000. The newly signed contracts were the direct result of marketing and participation ConExpo 2017, according to Chris Monroe, the company's global sales director.
"ConExpo 2017 gave us a platform to meet potential customers from across North America to showcase our products for future business," Monroe said in a statement. "...We've invested quite a bit of time in developing our knowledge of the market and since the last show in 2014, our export sales have increased by 27 percent and we're keen to build upon this success.
"This new business," he added, "is a direct result of our marketing efforts in North America and is a very encouraging signal as we prepare to expand our presence there."
Alison Gowdy, director of trade for Invest Northern Ireland, a regional business development agency committed to fostering growth throughout the local economy, noted that Smiley Monroe's dedication to international growth has had a significant impact regionally.
"Through fostering a partnership approach with the company, including support to create 31 new jobs in 2014, Smiley Monroe has been able to scale quickly and invest in growth in international markets," Gowdy said in a statement. "These new contracts now put the company in a stronger position to secure future export business in these markets, and I hope that its success can inspire other Northern Ireland companies to consider exporting to grow globally."