An Irish-owned company which laid the pitch for the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow is to create a base here in Ireland.
SIS Pitches, which also counts Real Madrid and FC Barcelona among its clients will initially have a presence in Wicklow, Tyrone and Sligo.
The company which employs 245 people worldwide says it initially plans to hire 8 people here - with hopes to create further employment as it expands.
SIS Pitches was set up by CEO George Mullan in 2001. While Mr Mullan still lives in his hometown of Sligo, the company has never had a direct presence in Ireland. He said:
“We have had phenomenal success in the UK market as well as in Eastern Europe and Russia. This year, we will be opening a joint venture in China and we are also moving into the US and Japan. We want to bring the success that we have had overseas to Ireland, invest in Ireland and hire Irish people.
“Personally, moving into the Irish market is a great sense of pride and excitement for me. SIS Manufacturing has been supplying synthetic pitches into Ireland for 16 years but now we will now be selling directly to end users, providing a full turnkey service of designing, building, manufacturing, installing and maintaining the pitches.”
SIS Pitches’ annual results for 2016 show a record turnover exceeding €54 million, making it one of the world’s largest sports pitch companies. Its projections for 2017 is turnover of almost €63.5 million.