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International Trade Club Awards 2013

Article Date: 06 December 2013

Lancashire’s exporters and importers continue to succeed, and a number are celebrating after winning the awards for their successes.

Three companies took the top honours at the International Trade Club Awards held on 6 December 2013, which recognise the vital contribution of exporters and importers.

Mandy Lockett, International Trade & Training Director at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said “These awards recognise the hard work and success of local businesses throughout the year as this directly benefits everyone in the local economy. Award winners are recognised by their peers for their outstanding performance.”

Specialist Material Handling Ltd of Burnley won the Newcomer to International Trade Award after securing their first export order to Egypt worth £59,000.  SMH specialises in material handling solutions, fork lift trucks, warehouse equipment and racking/storage products. Nik Wilson, MD said “Exporting is where we can really grow the business, especially with recycling second-hand equipment that is no longer in demand in the UK.  Up until recently this equipment was broken down and sold in the UK as spare parts, but the potential the African market presents us is immense.  On the back of our first deal, we are confident our exports will rise to £300,000 over the next 12 months.”

Also recognised for their exporting prowess was Michelle Benson of West Pennine Soaps of Darwen and Salma Chaudhry of The Halal Cosmetic Company of Blackburn, both new start-up companies servicing the health & beauty sectors.  Michelle and Salma have embraced overseas markets and expect their businesses to grow and continue in their success over the next few years.

Purple Cupcakes of Barnoldswick won Outstanding Achievement in Importing for increasing their imports dramatically throughout the year, whilst reducing the overall cost from the previous year, highlighting their fantastic negotiations skills. Starting their business making cupcakes and expanding into workshops and classes, over the last two years they have created their own bespoke designer range of cake and cupcake equipment. Not only have they reduced their costs, their range is increasing along with their supply chain plus increasing their exports and expanding in to new markets. Stephanie Clarke, Managing Director said “we are a small team and it’s hard to believe what we’ve accomplished in a very short space of time.  The team work very hard, and it’s not going to end here because we’ve got an even busier year coming up with new products being launched in 2014”.

Pipeline Induction Heat of Burnley won Outstanding Achievement in Exporting.  PIH specialise in onshore and offshore oil and gas pipelines, and provide engineering equipment, personnel and materials throughout the world. They have doubled their exports from £28m to £56m in the last year with their strongest growth in two regions, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico. They have created 39 new jobs in the Burnley area and have 8 apprenticeships studying mechanical engineering.  Adam Wynne Hughes, Managing Director said “Pipeline Induction Heat are delighted with our success in overseas trade this year.  Our team in Burnley are active in the local community and we would not be able to achieve our business objectives without their continued support and commitment”.

Also recognised and being highly commended in this category were Precision Polymer Engineering of Blackburn.  Manufacturers of high performance O rings, in the last 5 years they have more than doubled their exports sales from £12m. In the last year increasing their exports by 12% to just under £30m through strategic distribution partners in key new territories.  Gary Rae, Director of Human Resources, said “We are extremely proud of our achievements, it’s come about by hard work and diligence around the globe and this accolade pays tribute to the team that we have based in East Lancashire”.

Summarising the event, Mandy Lockett said “East Lancashire businesses are good at what they do. We have a deserved worldwide reputation for quality, reliability and straightforwardness in commercial dealings which gives us that fabulous creditability when trading internationally.  On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, we would like to congratulate all companies who have entered and those who have contributed to the wealth of our community”.

For additional information and pictures of the event please contact the International Trade Team on: 01254 356400

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