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The SMS Group Invests in Cruise and Ferry, Appoints Darren Smith

The marine engineering services provider, The SMS Group, has announced that it is building a cruise and ferry team. Additionally, Darren Smith has this month joined The SMS Group as head of business development with a focus on the cruise and ferry sector.

According to a press release, Smith brings with him “a wealth of experience and contacts from over 30 years in the industry.”

He joins Head of Interiors Dan Lockyer, Nick Border and Chris Bailey. The team has a collective relevant experience of over 100 years.

The group also said it is the only marine interior outfitter located within the ABP footprint in Southampton.

“Darren’s appointment is one of strategic significance for SMS. Our outfit business has grown year on year for the last three years and as the cruise industry prepares for a global restart the timing is just perfect. Our vision is timely, controlled, organic growth, and that will very much be front and center of Darren’s objectives, which is something Darren has vast experience of in his years within the maritime industry, it’s the ideal situation,” said Lockyer.

Smith said that he’s known Lockyer and the team for a long time.

“I look forward to working with them not only in regard to Business Development but also in creating a new and exciting business; we’re building something special and it’s great to be a part of it,” he commented.

“As we conclude the 20/21 fiscal year and realign our objectives for the 21/22 period a targeted approach to outfit, within the cruise and ferry sector, is ‘mission critical’ for the business. Despite the pandemic, each of our eight locations has this year made a positive EBITDA contribution to Group, and which has resulted in us exceeded our budget by some margin. The time is right for investment, and as the cruise industry restarts it will move from being one of our many marine centric verticals to being at the heart of our operations … We’ll make future investments in this space too; as our client list grows we fully intend to increase awareness via industry events, marketing and further sales initiatives – all of this perfectly matches Darren’s profile, experience and his industry background and broad network of connections,” said the Commercial Director of The SMS Group, Nicholas Warren.


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