Hard times at International Leathers

12 September 2004

Following five years of profitability, International Leathers (NI) Ltd, the last remaining garment leather tannery in the UK, have faced extremely challenging market conditions in 2004. Demand has been weak from all major markets and the company have suffered from the weakness of the US dollar, resulting in significant losses being incurred. The company have been tanning and selling lambskin leather from their plant in Killyleagh, Co Down, since 1990. As trade worsened, an aggressive marketing strategy was adopted at the beginning of this year, to counteract the challenges in the market. The efforts of all employees at the tannery resulted in very positive responses to the new approach. However, orders this year have not been received at the levels expected and a drop in demand for garment leather worldwide has effected heavy financial losses for the company. In response to this, the directors of International Leathers (NI) Ltd are instigating staff lay-offs at this time. Currently, management will continue to work hard to secure orders, and the business can continue if a viable future can be secured. Existing orders will be manufactured and the company's stock will be converted into finished leather and sold.

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