Marine business invests to grow exports

Aug 23, 2010

In picture is (left), Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Office, with Niall Heaney, Managing Director of GulfStream Marine in Londonderry.

GulfStream Marine, an expanding marine business based in Londonderry, is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to grow sales of its fibreglass leisure craft and associated equipment and services to global export markets.

The announcement follows the news that Derry will host a stopover of the prestigious Clipper Round the World Yacht race in 2012.

The company, operating since 2006, is to invest over £100,000 to help drive export sales of its leisure craft and technical services to over 50 per cent of its turnover.  Invest NI is providing financial assistance for the project in order to strengthen the company’s marketing expertise for its range of customised boats and cruisers. The project is projected to create four new jobs over the next two years.

Announcing assistance for the investment, Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office in Derry, said: “The leisure craft industry particularly in Great Britain is currently worth around £3 billion annually. This investment will help GulfStream Marine to build on its existing business there by developing the significant opportunities it has identified for its expertise through more intensive marketing activities in the growth sectors of leisure and professional craft.

“This investment reflects our commitment to encouraging and facilitating the growth of ambitious companies which offer innovative products and services to markets outside Northern Ireland.  The investment will support the development of Derry as a centre of excellence in the UK and Ireland for small marine craft,” he added.

Niall Heaney, GulfStream Marine Managing Director, said: “Since 2006 we have experienced significant growth and been successful in developing a wide portfolio of products and services including the sale of leisure craft throughout the UK and Ireland. We have underpinned this offering by securing a number of key dealerships from the industry’s leading manufacturers of marine engines and equipment, including Mercury, Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and Cummins Marine Diesel.

“Our growth strategy is focused on capitalising on our strong engineering expertise to deliver our repair and maintenance, and craft customisation services to customers throughout Ireland and the UK. We are realising plans to develop a truly global reach for our specialised accessories and equipment offering through our new e-commerce site. These activities have already taken our export sales to around 45 per cent of turnover. With Invest NI’s marketing assistance we will be able to further develop and secure our export sales.”

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