Hill Engineering wins first business in Australia

Hill Engineering in Newry has won its first business in Australia for its leading-edge TEFRA quick coupler with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company, a specialist in the design and manufacture of earth moving attachments for the quarrying, mining and construction industry, has secured business in excess of £300,000 following an extensive marketing drive in key Australian centres such as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The new business was announced by Ian Hill, Managing Director of Hill Engineering, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Trade. Invest NI provided assistance to enable the company to develop a marketing campaign in Australia for its TEFRA branded couplers used in excavation and construction machinery.

Mr Hill said: “This is immensely encouraging and significant business for us in a market which we identified in September as offering worthwhile opportunities for our couplers. It’s a very good result from an initial marketing drive there to set up a distribution network.

“Australia was one of three markets that we researched as part of our strategic focus on building further sales outside the UK. We decided to concentrate on Australia because the economy there is reasonably strong. Market research indicated that our couplers were more advanced particularly in safety terms and convenience than those already available there.

“We then took part in a major construction exhibition in Brisbane and met several potential business partners. Subsequent discussions led to an initial order for our couplers which establishes our presence in this important but highly competitive market for construction equipment.”

Dr Kell, commenting on Hill Engineering’s success in Australia, said: “This is an excellent example of a smaller business succeeding in this developing market by means of a very structured approach to export marketing.

“Hill Engineering has used a range of support from Trade as well as through our Southern Regional Office to strengthen its ability to compete successfully in international markets. As well as marketing support from us in terms of assistance towards an expert marketing consultancy, the company has benefited from other programmes to develop the business and establish a technology advantage through an ongoing commitment to innovation in its sector.

“The success in Australia has also encouraged the company to investigate opportunities in other markets beyond Europe which are continuing to grow steadily and are investing in the infrastructure projects.”

Based at Carnbane Business Park in Newry, Hill Engineering currently employs around 50 people in the production of couplers and excavator buckets.