U.K.-based ship repair and marine engineering services firm The SMS Group said it has hired Darren Smith head of business development, as the company sharpens its focus on the cruise and ferry sector.  

Smith, who is based in Southampton with a global remit, brings with him a wealth of experience and contacts from over 30 years in the industry.

Dan Lockyer, head of interiors, 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 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.”

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 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.”  

Warren added, “We’ll make future investment in this space too.

“As our client list grows we fully intend to increase awareness via industry events, marketing and further sales initiatives.”

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