There is scope for McHale Plant Sales to enjoy 40% growth within the marketplace generally over the next few years, according to the company's managing director Michael McHale.

He described 2017 as a "highly successful year, in which sales volumes at the company increased by some 20% on the previous 12 months".

It is hoped that the entry into forestry and waste management markets will help to drive growth in 2018.

The appointment of McHale Plant Sales as distributors of Komatsu Forest timber harvesting machinery and Terex Ecotec environmental and waste recovery equipment - which includes waste shredders and wood chipping machinery - are developments that "will auger well" for the Birdhill and Rathcoole-based firm, the managing director said.

He said: “Within our enlarged portfolio, the Komatsu Forest and Terex lines will complement each other extremely well.

Together, they bring us into new areas of activity that offer considerable scope for growth – in the expanding forestry sector, in waste management and recovery, and in biomass fuel generation.

He added that these developments will "dovetail extremely well" with other equipment that the company already represents.

There is an even more intensified marketing drive planned by McHale Plant Sales for the coming year.

Attendance at the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) Confex in January, a number of agricultural shows and the National Ploughing Championships in September are amongst the activities earmarked.

“The recruitment of additional personnel, particularly in after-sales, will also feature high on our agenda in 2018,” McHale concluded.