Invest Northern Ireland chief executive Leslie Morrison today praised the achievements of the four local companies named in the International Trade section of the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
The companies – Energia, part of the Viridian Group, and software developer Northbrook Technology, both from Belfast; Powershield Steel Doors of Lisburn; and Rotary (International), Newtownabbey – gained the United Kingdom’s top business award for outstanding achievements in markets outside Northern Ireland over the past three years.
All four companies are first time winners of the Enterprise award. Rotary, a global specialist in mechanical and electrical engineering services, which has just completed a £40 million contract at Gibraltar General Hospital and is working on a series of projects in the Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, however, gained the Queen’s Award for Export Achievements, as the award was previously known, twice.
Powershield, which designs and makes steel doors and glazing systems for clients in the Middle East, Singapore and the Republic of Ireland, is the only local manufacturer named this year.
Said Mr Morrison: “The four companies are excellent role models of the enterprise and internationalisation that underpins our corporate strategy. These and other successful exporters are creating new wealth for the local economy by competing aggressively and successfully for business in the global marketplace.
“Our objective is to encourage and to assist many more local companies to become international businesses by adding value to their operations, especially strategic marketing, through a genuine engagement with world markets.
“It’s also very encouraging that three of the four award winners this year – Energia, Powershield and Rotary – have their corporate headquarters in Northern Ireland and that Northbrook Technology, our biggest software company, is locally managed,” he added.
Rotary (International) employs around 300 in mechanical and electrical engineering services and increased its exports five fold over the past three years. Projects outside the United Kingdom currently account for around 50 per cent of its business. Among major contracts completed by the company are a £2.2 million project at Accra Temple in Ghana and an expansion at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the Arabian Gulf. It is part of the Rotary Group which employs 2,000 people throughout the United Kingdom.
Rotary is also supplying mechanical and electrical engineering services to the new British Embassy being constructed in Damascus, the Syrian capital.
Over the past three years, Powershield Steel Doors, which employs 80 people at its Lisburn manufacturing operation, has developed new export markets for its products in Oman, Singapore, Hong Kong and Nigeria. Sales outside Northern Ireland currently contribute around 80 per cent of its business.
Northbrook Technology, now Northern Ireland’s biggest software company with approaching 1,400 employees in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane, exports all its output to its parent company in the US.
Energia gained the award in recognition of its position as the leading independent energy supplier in the Republic of Ireland. The company is also investing in a second Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power plant at its Huntstown site near Dublin.