'I'm confident that this year could be good – we have ambitious plans'
JFC Manufacturing Co Ltd was set up in 1987 in Tuam, Co Galway, to supply specialised plastic products to the agricultural industry.
The company has since grown to employ 200 people with about 90 of those at the Tuam plant and the others in the UK, Holland and Poland.
It sells to a variety of sectors worldwide, including construction, healthcare, recycling, chemical, catering and marine. Exports account for 60pc of the company's total sales.
John Concannon, above, managing director, says: "In 2009, we took out 20 people in the Tuam facility but those numbers have been replaced since. There's been a large focus on marketing and new product development. That has been our strength. If we didn't have that, if we were a company that was not innovative, that wasn't coming up with new ideas and creating new products for new markets, we'd be down at 50pc of what we were doing.
"The feeling is good at the moment. Last year wasn't as good as other years despite having the good summer. We had two really bad months, May and June. Those were the two months where the farmers had all the problems with the fodder and I feel they were buying food for their cattle and sheep, rather than buying our products.
"We had a good summer and that brought us back on a par with 2012. I feel encouraged and confident that this year could be good. There's a bit of a move in houses now as well. We're recruiting more engineers at the moment and we have ambitious plans to expand in a few different sectors."