Invest NI helps company get into fast lane

Support from Invest Northern Ireland has helped Dunmurry-based McNicholl Hughes to secure a deal worth €500,000 to install Costa Coffee outlets within six Applegreen motorway service stations in the Republic of Ireland.

The deal comes after the specialist shop fitting and interior construction company undertook an intensive sales and marketing campaign targeting markets in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain with support from Invest Northern Ireland. It is the latest in a series of export successes for the company.

Now in its tenth year McNicholl Hughes has fifteen staff and is planning to employ another two by 2011 as a result of further growth stimulated by the marketing campaign.

Managing Director Mark Hughes says: “We are delighted to bring our trusted experience with the Costa Coffee chain to Applegreen and look forward to creating the six stores. This contract builds on the success we have already experienced in the Republic of Ireland having worked with Educo Gym and Specsavers.”

As well as targeting the RoI and Great Britain markets, McNicholl Hughes has been exploring opportunities further afield and last year took part in an Invest NI and NI Chamber of Commerce initiative to Poland, as well as an Invest NI trade mission to the Netherlands.

Oonagh Hinds, Regional Manager in Invest NI, says: “By undertaking focused marketing activity McNicholl Hughes expects to achieve a 70% increase in sales, a significant proportion of which will be outside Northern Ireland. Our support for this export drive will help the business develop its marketing and management capability, build its profile and consolidate its position in the interior construction sector.”