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CDE Global’s headquarters in Cookstown

SALES lifted to £69.7 million last year at Cookstown-based screening giant CDE Global, its latest set of filed accounts show.

However, pre-tax profits fell back from £5.1m in 2018 to just £642,966, due in part to it reinvesting in the business (CDE recently secured planning permission for a £2.8m 41,000 sq ft research and development facility).

But it comes as the firm, in common with a raft of other manufacturers across the north, said it was making a number of its staff redundant in response to market conditions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1992 and controlled by Tony Convery (59) and his wife Rosemary (56), CDE Global has designed, manufactured and commissioned more wet processing plants than any other company in the world, and has delivered more than 1,000 projects.

Results for the year to December 31 showed that sales climbed around 3 per cent from £65.8m to to £69.7mGross profit slipped to £15.5m from £17.2m, while net operating expenses increased to £16.3m from £12.8m.

Its accounts show that staff numbers grew to 375 from 307, pushing the wages bill up from £11.3m to £14.6m.

The directors were paid a combined £1.4m, of which £255,070 was the highest salary.

CDE Global operates across five sectors – sand/aggregates, waste recycling, industrial sands, mining and environmental.

In a statement filed with the accounts, the directors said the level of business and the year-end financial position were considered satisfactory.

They added: “Directors expect the current level of activity will be improved in the foreseeable future.”

But following the year-end, the company and its related entities were subject to a restructuring, which results in its share capital being transferred to CDE Group Holdings Ltd, a company controlled by the Converys.

On May the company acquired 100 per cent of the following investments from Asian Investment Holdings Ltd – namely CDE Global Inc, CDE South Africa, CDE Global Australia, CDE Europe and also 5015 Finance, which owns and leases equipment to customers.

In recent years CDE has been particularly successful in targeted new export markets in regions like sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.