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The SMS Group appoints head of business development

By Karolina Skinner
13 July 2021
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A Southampton-based marine engineering firm has appointed a head of business development as it focuses on the cruise and ferry sector.  

The SMS Group has welcomed Darren Smith (pictured), who brings with him a wealth of experience and contacts from more than 30 years in the industry.

The SMS Group is building its cruise and ferry team by focusing 100% on its people – ensuring experience, credibility and capability are at the forefront of its service offering. The business – based within ABP’s Port of Southampton – is a specialist in outfit, ship repair, and marine engineering in the commercial marine, defence and cruise sectors.

Smith, who is based in Southampton with a global remit, joins head of interiors Dan Lockyer and project managers Nick Border and Chris Bailey. Collectively, they have more than 100 years of hands-on experience.

Lockyer said: "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 centre of Darren’s objectives, which is something Darren has vast experience of in his years within the maritime industry. It’s the ideal situation."

Smith added: "I’ve known Dan and the team for a long time and 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."

The team is the only marine interior outfitter located within the ABP footprint in Southampton.

Nicholas Warren, commercial director, said: "As we conclude the 2020/21 fiscal year and realign our objectives for the 2021/22 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 the 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."

About The SMS Group

The SMS Group is a UK based marine engineering services provider with 24/7 support from eight locations in the UK. With 10 sites, 4 dry docks and 150+ direct employees, the company's customer base is wide and varied; the senior leadership is made up of marine professionals, engineers, former seafarers and other professionals from varying industrial backgrounds that collectively provide the support, guidance and direction which allows SMS's people to flourish and customers to thrive.