Cunningham covers consolidates in Gulf

Cunningham Covers, the Maghera-based manufacturer of advanced textiles, has consolidated its position in the Middle East by securing a major contract following an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

The company, which took part in the recent mission to key Gulf business centres, is to supply a range of products and accessories to a major transport business there.

Cunningham Covers has been doing business successfully in the Gulf region for over 30 years and has taken part in a series of Invest NI trade missions to these markets.

The company currently exports more than half of its output of bespoke industrial textiles, including high visibility curtains for haulage vehicles, to customers in the transport, construction, quarrying, medical and agricultural industries.

Managing Director, Gordon Cunningham, who established the business in 1969, said: “While the Gulf markets are still buoyant, the region is also one which is becoming increasingly competitive.

“Winning and retaining business there requires a great deal of commitment in terms of financial and other resources. It’s a market in which customers expect to see suppliers regularly, and demand products tailored to their specific requirements.

“I make a point of visiting Gulf markets several times each year and take advantage of Invest NI trade missions to stay in touch with customers. Missions are a very effective and cost-efficient way to develop and also to maintain a presence in a key market.

“To enable us to satisfy the needs of existing and potential customers, we’ve also invested heavily in the latest technology for graphic design and inkjet printing. As a result, we now have three inkjet printers capable of handling high visibility curtains for trucks. These enable us to respond quickly to the complex and high quality graphics that customers there and in other markets are increasingly demanding,” he added.

Welcoming the company’s latest business in the Gulf, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “Cunningham Covers is an excellent example of a business which took a strategic decision to focus extensive resources on developing business in the growth markets of the Arabian Gulf.

“Thirty years ago, this represented a very substantial commitment for this small business at a time when few SMEs in Northern Ireland had the Arabian Gulf on their radar.

“It’s an investment which has produced – and continues to provide – tangible benefits for Cunningham Covers.”