Picture by Harrison Photography
Pictured (L-R) Declan Gormley, Brookvent, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI.
Brookvent, the Dunmurry-based manufacturer of window ventilation systems, has expanded its business in Poland following market development assistance from Invest Northern Ireland leading to over £500,000 of new business.
The Co Antrim company employs 48 people at its manufacturing operations in Dunmurry Industrial Estate, where it designs and produces mechanical window vents and heat recovery systems for the private and public housing sectors.
The company first visited Poland in 2009 on an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to explore new opportunities. Since then the company has set up an office in Wroclaw, near Warsaw, and now employs a business development manager and six people there.
The achievements in Poland were announced by Declan Gormley, Brookvent Managing Director, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, during a visit to the company.
Dr Kell said: “Brookvent is an excellent role model of a company that is benefiting substantially from a strategic approach to exports and is prepared to make the necessary investment including establishing a base and recruiting local staff to grow sales.
“Poland is a target market for us in Central Europe because of its continuing GDP growth and the government’s investment programme to modernise its infrastructure and to improve conditions for its 38 million strong population. As Brookvent is demonstrating, there are significant opportunities for Northern Ireland companies there.”
Mr Gormley said: “Our success in Poland is a result of a strategic decision to look for sustainable growth in global markets. We carried out extensive market research in Europe and further afield and targeted those nations, including Poland, offering the best potential for our products.
“My objective is to grow our exports from 15 per cent of our business to 22 per cent over the next two years.
“This led me to take part in the Invest NI market visit to Warsaw in 2009. Over the yars I’ve found that trade missions are an ideal way to explore a potential market.
“We set up the base in Wroclaw following extensive market research which pinpointed significant opportunities for our products in residential and social housing. Business is continuing to grow, last year we more than doubled our sales and this year we are on target to top the £1 million mark, making Poland one of our most important markets outside the United Kingdom.
“The support we have received from Invest NI to help market our products in Europe has been very helpful. We are benefiting from the growth which Poland is currently experiencing and especially from the ongoing investment in infrastructure and housing. This makes it a vibrant and exciting market for us, and one in which building contractors are increasingly recognising the quality of our products. Poland is an excellent market in which to do business. They appreciate – and are prepared to pay for – quality products and expert technical support,” added Mr Gormley.
Invest NI is organising a Doing Business in Poland seminar ahead of a planned trade mission to Warsaw and Krakow from 16-21 June.