Armagh Company Expands to Meet Demand

Armagh based tile company, Armatile, is literally building on its recent success both at home and overseas, by extending its manufacturing, showroom and office facilities at its base in Armagh.

Work on the extension is due to begin in early 2004 and is expected to lead to the creation of a further 25 jobs in the areas of production, sales and administration. The company currently employs 67.

This planned expansion comes on the back of the recent opening of a new 600m2 showroom in Newry to display Armatile’s manufactured products portfolio. The Invest Northern Ireland backed company currently produces an extensive range of manufactured products for the domestic market. It has links with all the major GB tile companies and currently supplies over 120 independent tile retail outlets in the Republic of Ireland.

James McCann, Armatile company Chairman says: “Our new showroom in Newry enables us to showcase our range of manufactured products to a standard not previously available to us. Tiles are now seen as fashion items rather than simple floor coverings and it’s vital that we are able to portray this image to potential clients. Our new showroom in Newry and our planned expansion in Armagh should help us to achieve this aim.”

Armatile was heavily involved in the recent £6 million refurbishment of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. The work carried out by the company on this project has been shortlisted in two categories in The Tile Association Awards (2004).

In addition to the company’s success at home, Armatile is enjoying a growing international reputation following the successful completion of a major contract for the seven star Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai. The contract involved the production of over 10,000 borders using the company’s state of the art waterjet cutting technology to cut complex Arabic designs onto tiles.

As a result of the Dubai contract the company is now hoping to win further work in the Gulf region. It is working with an experienced Dubai interior designer, Rand Al-Assad, who has been appointed by Invest NI as part of its Made and Designed in Northern Ireland (MADINI) initiative. The initiative aims to pinpoint opportunities for local companies to do business in the Gulf.

The company has also supplied material to projects in London, Spain, Germany, and the USA.

Anne Marie Hamilton, Invest NI client executive, says: “Armatile’s success both in Northern Ireland and overseas is a result of the company’s focus on developing and implementing a robust marketing strategy. Invest NI has supported their marketing efforts in a number of ways, most recently by involving them in the MADINI initiative which is a very effective way of opening doors to the middle eastern marketplace.”

Peter Craven, Armatile’s marketing manager, says: “Armatile’s manufacturing facility in Armagh, with its leading edge CAD based technology, gives us a competitive edge and has allowed us to develop innovative ranges of tiles. The planned extension to our manufacturing facility will allow us to make our products available to a wider audience, develop overseas markets and create more jobs in the local area.”