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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
NI firm wins export contracts
The company makes construction machinery
A County Tyrone company has announced contracts with companies in the United States and Russia worth about 1.5m.

Powerscreen International, which is based in Dungannon, makes portable screening and recycling equipment for the quarrying and construction industries throughout the world.

The contract in the United States is with a company in Des Moines, Iowa, for processing construction and demolition waste, and is one of the company's biggest contracts in the US in recent years.

Powerscreen's sales director Malachy Gribben said the company was doing well in the American market in spite of the problems caused by the exchange rate.

"The exchange rate hasn't helped," said Mr Gribben.

"But in spite of that we have found the US market fairly buoyant, with sales 5% to 10% up on last year."

The company has also won an order to supply equipment to a number of ports in Russia, to size and grade coal for export markets.

We are driving the business forward with the development of new products to try to increase sales still further
Malachy Gribben

"I'm going out there this week hopefully to sign orders for more machnes," Mr Gribben said.

"Russia is a very difficult market to penetrate, but now that we've got our foot in the door, we're hoping for great things there."

Over the past six months or so the company has been marketing a new machine called the Warrior.

That has been sold to a number of customers around the world, with total orders since March having now reached above 5m.

"We launched the Warrior at a conference in Ballygawley," said Mr Gribben.

"We had customers there from all over Europe, and the result is that we have a very strong order book for that machine.

"It is used to grade material into three sizes, and it has a number of applications in quarrying and construction."

Mr Gribben said that in general, business is 10% up on last year in spite of strong competition both at home and overseas.

"We're developing very strongly in new markets like Russia and in the Far East," he said.

"We've recently signed a couple of contracts for recycling projects in Korea, so things are going well.

"We're also driving the business forward with the development of new products to try to increase sales still further."

Earlier this year, Powerscreen won the award for Northern Ireland Exporter of the Year, following a 17% increase in overseas sales between 2000 and 2002.

However, it also announced the closure of its plant in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, in the Irish Republic, with the loss of more than 100 jobs.

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