Robert Craig and Sons, the Lisburn-based specialist in eco-friendly fuel cleaning systems, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to win new business worth more than £250,000.
The company has taken part in a series of Invest NI trade missions and is now firmly established in key markets such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Finland.
In addition, the company used a recent Invest NI trade mission to establish a dealer in the Czech Republic. This has resulted in an order for two more fuel polishing units within two weeks of first meeting Pronix in Prague.
The company’s success in European markets was announced by David Craig, Managing Director of Robert Craig and Sons, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director.
Mr Craig said: “We’ve used a broad range of export support from Invest NI to expand our business over the past five years. We’ve also used export guidance from our local Lisburn Council. Since focusing on the Netherlands, for example, our sales there have doubled every year and will exceed the £150,000 mark for the current year.
“The Dutch success also led to our first business in nearby Belgium, and we’ve also invested time and other resources to develop sales in Finland and Poland, again using Invest NI trade missions. As a result of this strategic focus, we expect exports to these markets to hit £500,000, very significant growth for a smaller business.
“Invest NI’s support for our work to transform the company into a globally-focused business has been extremely important, particularly at this time when opportunities in Great Britain, our traditional marketplace, have been impacted by the current recession. European regulations on potential sources of environmental pollution are also increasing demand for our fuel polishing equipment because they offer an effective solution for stored fuel from generators.
“Without Invest NI’s expertise in Europe it would have taken us years to develop these markets on our own,” he added.
Craigs has pioneered the development of a fuel polishing system which substantially reduces waste fuel from standby power generation machinery.
Dr Kell said: “Craigs is an example of how a smaller company can be helped to enhance its business by using our services to grow business outside Northern Ireland. This progressive company has been keen to work with our experts and to commit the necessary resources to develop a strategic approach to business development that is now producing sales in key European markets.
“As a direct result of this commitment to growth through exports, the company is now well-positioned for faster and sustainable growth in existing and potential markets throughout Europe.”
Craigs is based at Knockmore Industrial Estate and has developed the new fuel polishing system in partnership with Separ UK, a company based in Hertfordshire which supplies the filters used in the system. Craigs provides the pumps and assembles the systems in Lisburn.