Carrickfergus-based Luxury Planter Collection has lined up business in Lithuania which will give it a springboard for further growth in Baltic markets.
The company, which is part of the biggest-ever Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, from 25th to 30th March, has confirmed a major distribution deal and an agreement with a new business partner in Kaunas to develop an innovative product for its portfolio.
Eighteen companies and the University of Ulster are taking part in the week-long mission, the most recent in a programme of Invest NI trade activities in Baltic and Nordic markets.
The business in Lithuania was announced by Kyle Gallagher, Luxury Planter Collection Managing Director, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director.
The Luxury Planter Collection specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of a unique range of environmental furniture that features an intelligent cleaning system which enables it to be used for the disposal of cigarette waste.
The company will also be launching its range of products to the US marketplace at an event in New York next month.
Dr Kell said: “The Luxury Planter Collection has been active in the Baltic region for several years and now has a network of contacts particularly in Lithuania. The new agreements will enable the company to build on these contacts and to expand its business there and in other international markets.
“The size of this mission demonstrates the growing interest among smaller Northern Ireland companies in particular in the three countries which are open markets and keen to strengthen business relationships with Northern Ireland. In addition to being important markets in their own right, they offer a platform for expansion into much bigger regions especially Russia and the Nordic states of Sweden and Norway.
“The mission also shows that more companies than ever are now prepared to explore new markets such as those in the Baltics. They will also benefit from the knowledge and experience of companies such as the Luxury Planter Collection which are established there, and from the practical support and advice from commercial staff at British Diplomatic Posts in all three centres.
“Most have already received market data and potential business leads from experts at the posts and from our team at the Business Information Centre in Belfast. This support enhances their confidence and increases their business prospects,” added Dr Kell.
Mr Gallagher, who founded the business in 2005, said: “We expect that the new distribution deal in Kaunas will lead to a significant increase in business in Lithuania and beyond. In addition, we are linking up with another company to develop a brand new product, the Replensis Flashtray, a wall mounted ashtray made from stainless steel, which features new technology for designs that could include corporate logos or artwork for our existing and potential customers. We have a significant customer base, particularly in Great Britain, that includes major hotels such as Claridges and Grosvenor House and high-end restaurants.
“We see substantial opportunities in the Baltics because of the strength of their commitment to environmental initiatives. Our planters are widely recognised as an attractive solution to the problem of cigarette waste. Doing business there is rewarding but requires perseverance and patience. These are markets that require regular visits to develop worthwhile business relationships,” he added.