While Brexit negotiations continue, no one yet knows what the future UK/EU trade agreement will be. There are some key dates coming up in the next few months which should leave us all better informed and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the implications when any agreements are reached.
In the meantime, we have put contingency plans in place which will leave us in a stronger position to serve our customers in the medium to long term, regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
This process started well before the UK referendum vote took place in 2016 and involved Carrington working closely with KPMG to evaluate all aspects of our business. This impact assessment included a review of everything from our supply chain to the potential legal and accounting changes that might need to take place.
This resulted in a series of actions that will ensure all our EU customers will be able to buy Carrington products from inside the EU post Brexit. Measures taken have included the registration of Carrington Textiles Europe, LDA, in Portugal, the opening of a new warehouse and distribution centre in the same country and the establishment of a new manufacturing base located outside Porto. This manufacturing site is owned and operated by MGC – a 50/50 joint venture formed by Carrington and TMG, a Portuguese textile manufacturer.
A multi-million-pound investment programme will now see new machinery being installed at the Portuguese site. At the same time, we are investing heavily into Pincroft, our production facility in Lancashire, England, upgrading and modernising our plant and building a state-of-the-art research and development facility, to be completed during 2019.
These developments will leave Carrington in a much stronger position to fulfil customer demand in the UK, EU and international markets. With two factories operating in two geographies, we have increased our production capacity and gained greater production flexibility.
As Brexit negotiations continue, we have begun a two-way consultation with the UK Civil Service regarding the likely implications of various potential Brexit agreements, and are continuing to talk through these scenarios with our own suppliers.
Uncertainty does create challenges, but, through the discussions and actions we have taken, we will be in the best place possible to respond to whatever agreement is ultimately reached.