Antrim-based Springfarm Architectural Mouldings (SAM) has seen its sales rise by over 450 per cent following the start of a business improvement drive, Leslie Morrison, Invest NI Chief Executive, said today.

Mr Morrison said SAM had become a role model for Europe’s small to medium sized manufacturers through its successful dedication to service excellence.

Speaking during a visit to the family-run business, Mr Morrison said: “SAM’s recent success in winning the coveted European Quality Award shows that a small company in a traditional sector can achieve sustainable and profitable growth through a continuous focus on business improvement techniques.

“It has engaged its customers, employees and suppliers in this process and, by doing so, has provided a faster and flexible supply of consistently high quality products. These have enabled clients to add value to their business and improve profitability.

“Impressive bottom line results– a 454 per cent rise in turnover and a 2700 per cent increase in net profits since 1995 – have been SAM’s reward for Business Excellence.

“Equally impressive is the company’s approach to the recycling of waste to generate heat and thereby reduce energy and waste disposal costs,” he added.

Mr Morrison met Mr Sam McCrea, the Managing Director, who formed the company in 1990, and Mrs Julienne McCrea, the Business Excellence Director.

Mr McCrea said: "Winning the European Quality Award was a marvellous boost for everyone in the company. We hope our success will encourage other local companies to apply business improvement techniques that will help them grow faster.

"Local companies will find that Invest NI is a perfect partner. They will benefit enormously from the knowledge, support and encouragement provided by the staff throughout the agency.

"There is a wealth of information, expertise and experience readily available from bodies such as Invest NI and from companies like ourselves which other firms can draw on to improve their overall productivity and ability to compete successfully for business in all markets" he added.