Winners of the International Trade Awards 2008

Article Date: 16 December 2008

East Lancashire have once again been celebrating their reputation as one of the country’s foremost regions for international trade success. The occasion this time was the Annual International Trade Awards, a gala lunch event organised by The International Trade Club which was sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland and supported by the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.  This most enjoyable event was held this year at the impressive Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors where Ed Murphy stated that the living standards of everyone in the UK depends upon the success of our exporters.

Companies throughout East Lancashire were invited to nominate themselves for International Trade Awards. As ever, competition was extremely tight, with Ed Murphy the International Trade Club Chairman and International Trade and Trading Director at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, commenting, ‘Once again it was very difficult to choose the winners as the calibre of company entries was outstanding, but  winners had to be selected, and this year they were:

The Award for Increase in Exports – was won by PMT Industries Ltd.  PMT design and manufacture castings and yankee dryers for the paper machinery industry.  The company is now in its second financial year of trading, and have exported to 13 markets in 2008, being particularly successful in South America and Europe.  During this time, PMTs exports have soared to £7.29M and employ 73 staff locally. 

Val Pilkington, UK Director of PMT Industries Limited, commented ‘that as a relatively new company they were highly delighted to have achieved such recognition for the company’s export achievements, and felt that this underlined the commitment of the PMT Team to their objective of providing a high class technical and manufacturing service to their customers worldwide.’

The Award for Entering New Markets – was won by Sovereign Beverage of Blackburn. The company exports an exclusive selection of the Best British brands to over 30 countries World Wide including Hong Kong, USA, Canada.  They have also just successfully launched their own brands into Russia and plan to expand on this through 2009. The company was established in 2006 and has achieved export alcohol sales in excess of £1m and close to £300,000 in stainless steel keg sales. 

David Davies, Director of SBC Ltd commented "To be presented with this award is a great achievement for such a young company and is a real testament for all the hard work we have put into the business since launching 2 years ago.  2009 will be an exciting year for SBC and despite only having a small team of 3, we hope to double our sales through next year by opening new markets and expanding in existing one's".

Highly commended in the Increase in Export Sales category was Metals UK, represented by Louise Child, John Wright and Ellie Foy. Metals UK secured their place as major players in the Eastern European league, making their debut in several new countries including Greece and Slovakia and developing their game in the Polish market.  They are extremely focussed about the future and told us: ‘Here at Metals UK we are delighted to have received our award and feel it is a real achievement despite the turbulent financial climate we are in.  Our success is determined by the dedication and enthusiasm of our team and we hope to continue this excellent form in 2009”.

Simon Watson, Business Development Director International Trade of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group said "These awards recognise companies across East Lancashire that have demonstrated growth and development on the global stage and RBS is delighted to help recognise their achievements."

In addition to the International Trade Winners, congratulations was also given to Fort Vale Engineering of Burnley for winning the British Chambers of Commerce Regional Award for Excellence in International Trade and The Recycle Works of Ribchester for winning the NatWest everywoman Awards for implementation and use of IT & Communications.

The event was also attended by Doreen Hitchcock, one of the original founders of the Club. Looking at the progress of the Club she told us: ‘The Club was started in York Street in Burnley.  Since then it has changed beyond all recognition and it is now utterly incredible. It is the oldest one in the country, and as founder members we were invited to the Foreign Office and in March 1988 were invited to Buckingham Palace. We are very proud of its achievements, and when we go abroad we always take the Club’s literature and extol the achievements of our companies.’

The festivities were concluded with a fantastic kickboxing demonstration provided by Jason Curtis, ISKA Professional Full Contact Kickboxing British Champion, and his crew.

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