Northern Ireland

NI firm MJM lands cruise ship work at Belfast shipyard

Harland and Wolff cranes Belfast Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption A spokesman for Harland and Wolff said it was 'delighted' with the deal

A multi-million pound contract to refurbish a cruise ship has been won by a Newry firm, with all work to be done in Belfast.

MJM Group said it paves the way for future projects.

The 11-deck liner Azamara Pursuit, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, will arrive at Harland and Wolff in April for a full interior refit.

MJM, which employs 240 people, said it would be "one of the first major refits of a cruise liner in a UK dry dock".

Profits rose

Cruise ship refits are mostly done in North America, Asia and continental Europe and it is a sector worth more than £2bn annually.

Company chief executive Gary Annett said: "This has the potential to be a game changer.

"We worked hard to put together a case for Northern Ireland.

"We have always had the ambition to revive the rich shipbuilding history here."

The family-run business was established in 1983, and also owns Mivan in Antrim.

It has a track record in cruise ship work and is currently involved in projects in China.

According to its last accounts, profits rose in 2016 by almost 50% to £6m.

A spokesman for Harland and Wolff said it was "delighted" with the deal, and hoped others would follow.

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