Bradford-based Barrett Steel is launching a new engineering division in Ireland tomorrow.

Barrett Engineering Steel Ireland will introduce a wide range of engineering steels and alloys from its warehouse and business unit in Maghaberry, Northern Ireland.

David Reece, commercial manager, Barrett Engineering Steel Division, said: “Barrett recognises the vast potential in Ireland and seeks to build on its successes. We already have a substantial presence in Ireland with a portfolio of businesses in the general steel and tubular product divisions. This brand new business will provide the power generation, petrochemical, engineering, defence, industrial plant and quarrying industries with an extensive range of products and processing facilities.

“The division will also provide value-added services such as sawing, drilling, heat treatment, testing and grinding. Delivery is rapid from Northern Ireland with access to additional materials through the supply chain network, ensuring products are delivered safely, in perfect condition and on time.

“The launch is part of a continuing investment, which will include more new outlets in the near future. Barrett has increased its workforce by 20 per cent at the site and we expect to start recruiting again later this year.”

The latest expansion by the family-owned group follows the recent launch of the Barrett Energy Products Division to serve the global energy markets, bringing together several UK and US-based facilities under a new banner.

In 2013 Barrett Steel’s group profits bounced back in the of challenging trading conditions which boosted its confidence about prospects in 2014.

The UK's largest private steel stockholder, whose head office is at Dudley Hill, saw pre-tax profits leap by nearly 50 per cent from £3.1 million to nearly £4.6 million turnover rose by five per cent from £216 million to £273 million.

During the year to September 30, Barrett Steel, which operates 42 subsidiaries around the UK, also pushed up export sales by nearly 13 per cent from £27.3 million to £30.7 million.