An industrial lighting specialist which now makes 56% of its entire turnover through overseas markets has taken the top prize at the North East Exporters’ Awards.
The cream of the region’s exporters attended a glittering final at Ramside Hall last night, to see A-Belco Ltd of Ashington scoop the overall winner prize in a hard-fought competition which saw judges pore over scores of entries from firms recording growing successes in foreign markets.
A-Belco Ltd manufactures lights, which come under the firm’s Hadar Lighting brand, created specifically for hazardous areas which have a high risk of ignition, such as oil-rigs and underground mines, and use less energy than traditional lighting.
The Journal’s North East Exporters’ Awards 2014, hosted by Wendy Gibson, were held in conjunction with our sister paper The Gazette and mainline sponsors the North East Chamber of Commerce, UKTI and HSBC.
The Exporter of the Year Award was one of six trophies presented over the course of the night, with prizes also being given out to the Mid and Large Exporter of the Year, SME Exporter of the Year, New Exporter of The Year, Export Team of the Year and Supporting Export Award.
Earlier in the evening A-Belco also took the prize in the SME Exporter of the Year category.
Through its distributor network, A-Belco, which employs 71 people, has broken into the Scandinavian, UAE, Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean markets and now has 10 members of staff purely dedicated to exports.
Export sales have increased by 40% from 2011 to 2012 and again by 40% in 2013, with export sales accounting for 56% of turnover, more than double the 21% of exporting revenues it recorded in 2011.Total company sales have also almost trebled over three years, with the firm posting revenues of £3.96m in 2011 and £10.6m in 2013, and pre-tax profits have also risen from £700,000 in 2011 to £1.7m in 2013.
Finance director Linda Billings said: “The company is proud to provide employment in Ashington, refusing to succumb to the temptations of outsourcing to developing countries. We feel this ensures control of the quality of our product, and has enabled us to compete on a worldwide stage, punching well above our weight in terms of the company size.
“The successful push for export sales has enabled us not only to survive the recession, but to thrive and grow.”
Pat Dellows, area commercial director at HSBC – the category sponsor – was proud to present the firm with the award by HSBC at the climax of a busy night, where key speaker was Trade Minister Lord Livingston, who heard how the region is contributing to the Government’s Plan for Growth targets.
For a full round-up, watch out for The Journal’s North East Exporters of the Year supplement on Tuesday, May 27.