Electronics manufacturer Seaward has grown its export market to include 60 countries, and is now eyeing £16m turnover.
The Peterlee-based specialists in electric testing tools have recently widened their export to net to capture sales in Japan, China and South American.
Trade missions, market research projects and knowledge transfer partnerships, supported by UKTI, have driven the firm’s overseas activity - which is expected to account for around 60% of turnover next year. Seaward sell their own branded products through an international network of distributors as well as white-label products for other companies.
Rod Taylor, Seaward managing director, explained: “We’ve always had an overseas market presence and the much improved performance in the last few years reflects how we have adopted a much more strategic approach to our export business.
“Over the years we have established distributors in many countries, but only in a relatively small number of these markets had it been possible to achieve a respectable level of market share.
“After a review of our activities, we decided to focus on those markets offering the greatest potential return while nurturing the other countries with the expectation that at some stage, as new resources became available, they would then become a prime target.”
Seaward manufactures specialist instrumentation for the electrical, electronics, medical and solar PV industries.
For the USA and Far East markets, Seaward has opened regional sales offices in Florida and Malaysia, which also provide after sales care and calibration services.
The firm says both offices have achieved good sales momentum.
Mr Taylor: “Our international product offering across a wide range of markets is now very strong. All group brands are complementary and each division is a market leader in its own sector.
“Throughout our journey to export sales success, the support and guidance provided by UKTI has been invaluable in enabling us to compete successfully in highly demanding international markets.”
Earlier this year Seaward announced it had set up a dedicated commercial centre next to its Peterlee factory, to provide sales, marketing and technical support functions for the group’s, Rigel, Clare and Cropico product lines.