Trailer manufacturer SDC has announced 40 new jobs across its Magherafelt and Toomebridge sites, after winning an order worth £1.25m from the Middle East.
The company, which last year secured a major contract with Asda, already has 500 staff.
Chief executive Mark Cuskeran said they are delighted to be adding to the workforce after an order for 60 new platform trailers from Saudi Arabia’s Rezayat Group.
“It’s been in the pipeline for about six months,” he told the MAIL. “We’ve been very much going on an export drive for the last year, so we’re back above production levels of 2007 now.
“It’s been tough times — and I really want to thank staff after the tough times.”
The new jobs, he added, “will be in engineering, production and management, so it’s a good mix”.
This news comes after another Mid Ulster firm — KPL — was forced to close its doors last week, with the loss of hundreds of jobs and leaving its many subcontractors unsure of their futures.
“It was very sad to hear about KPL,” said SDC chief Mr Cuskeran. “It was a good business.
“It might be a different skill set, but if people want to fire in their CVs, we have jobs advertised at the minute.”
Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone has praised the company’s hard work through tough times.
The SDLP man, who — along with Sandra Overend — has met with DRD in a bid to help those affected by KPL’s collapse, told the MAIL: “I compliment them [SDC] for getting out there and looking for work, and breaking into new markets.
“In a week when we have had bad news about KPL and it’s implications for local suppliers, local subcontractors and employees, it really is good to see a good news story here from South Derry Coaches (SDC).
“It’s great to see them breaking into new markets and going out to immediately recruit for 40 news posts,” he added.
“They have to congratulated on their hard work and their ‘stickability’ and their giving back to the local community by way of creating jobs here.”
UUP MLA Sandra Overend has also welcomed the news of 40 new jobs for SDC.
“At a time of job losses around the country, the creation of 40 new posts is very welcome news, especially for the people of Mid Ulster, where SDC is a major employer,” she said.
“This is a local company that have established themselves on a European and now global scale.
“I congratulate SDC on breaking into this new market in Saudi Arabia and wish them well in their efforts to target more export business.”