Exports success sees electronics firm Seaward Group open new commercial centre

The Peterlee-based has expanded after increasing export sales by 20%

Rod Taylor, managing director of the Seaward Group

A County Durham electronics manufacturer is expanding its operations on the back of growing export sales success.

The Peterlee-based Seaward Group has set up a dedicated new commercial centre in premises next to its manufacturing plant, where it makes specialist test instrumentation for the electrical, electronics, medical and solar PV industries.

Seaward is an international market leader in a number of highly technical sectors, its UK design and manufacturing operations being supported by a global distributor network and dedicated sales, service and technical support offices in the USA, France and Malaysia.

While the company continues to perform strongly in UK markets, the expanding overseas focus has helped it increase export sales by 20% in the 2013/14 financial year just ended, with further growth anticipated during 2014.

The boost has helped to push the firm’s sales to over £16m and grow staff numbers to around 150.

The new commercial centre will bring together the sales, marketing and technical support functions for the group’s Seaward, Rigel, Clare and Cropico product lines.

In particular, it will allow closer integration of new product development programmes with the group’s business growth activities.

Seaward has also appointed electrical sector specialist Julian Grant into the newly created role of commercial director with responsibility for UK and international sales, marketing and business development.

New senior appointments have likewise been made in quality control and engineering operations.

Managing director Rod Taylor said: “Our electrical safety testing 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.

“Our ability to compete successfully in highly demanding international markets is based on a combination of close customer focus and technical innovation. The development of our new commercial centre is the natural next step in this process.

“The new arrangements will enable customers in the UK and throughout the world to gain access to improved levels of service, information and communication, whilst still being able to benefit from the specialist technical expertise that has been part of the individual brands for many years.”

The USA, Germany and the Netherlands have traditionally been strong markets for Seaward group products and the company recently completed its first sale into Japan with new solar PV test instrumentation.

Also among the new and growing list of markets served are the Middle East, South Africa, South America, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Spain and Scandinavia. Included in a number of new contracts wins have been orders from Airbus and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

In 2012, Seaward won a Queens Award for international trade for its Rigel range of specialist electrical safety testing equipment for the medical sector.

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