ACDC, Barrowford

SUCCESS in the export market has seen lighting firm acdc achieve the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade this year.

Among some of the grander projects they have worked on recently are lighting up the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower and the Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel both in Dubai and the Olympic bridges in London.

Success in the export markets is shown by a growth of 90 cent over the past three years.

Gareth Frankland, acdc CEO said: “Despite the tough current international climate, acdc’s turnover continues to grow significantly year on year with a notable growth in the export market of over 90 per cent over the past three years, with export sales currently 55 per cent of company turnover.

“Earlier this year we were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for this outstanding achievement which we consider as proof, if needed, that acdc is truly leading the world in the design of technical LED products which are brighter, better and smaller than ever before.

“Our products are in demand globally, with over 3,000 projects delivered each year to key export markets including Europe, USA, Australia, the Far East, Middle East and India from our UK HQ.”

Before committing to overseas trade transactions Barrowford-based acdc considered a few points, including the political risks.

Mr Frankland said: “We have an established and growing global network of over 60 distributors, their knowledge of local commercial customs, business practices, contacts and languages have proven invaluable in assuring smooth international business transactions for both acdc and the end client.

“The export market will remain a major focus for acdc in the coming years.

Colonial Gifts, Padiham

COLONIAL Gifts has already been given the Royal seal of approval this year.

Trading as iflorist, the Padiham-based firm won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its outstanding achievement in International Trade.

iflorist has expanded rapidly throughout Europe since its inception six years ago, and international trade now accounts for 40 per cent of total orders – a growth in the last 12 months of more than 200 per cent.

A network of 10,000 partners allows it to offer same-day delivery within 60 per cent of the time zones in the 110 countries it services worldwide.

Its gifting service incorporates not only flowers but also – an area increasingly popular with the corporate market.

Product design is tailored so that gifts are relevant and appropriate for the individual regional markets they reach.

Managing director David Price said: “More and more we’re seeing the hampers used as a goodwill gesture by our corporate customers.

“A bottle of wine or a gift is still seen as a fine token of appreciation among businesses.”

Websites have been set up in 20 countries in eight languages and five currencies – in the next two years it envisages increasing that number of websites to 72. They also accept 80 different credit cards through a global payment system.

The firm has attracted repeat customers by creating e-commerce websites that are easy-to-use and compelling to the natives, wherever in the world they may be.

The success of its overseas sales can be attributed, in part, to a thriving internship programme which has attracted top overseas students, organised through the UK Trade and Investment department.

Kirk Environmental, Nelson

JUST four years ago Nelson-based KIRK Environmental was a predominantly UK based business.

But after focusing on the export market the company now has an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as distributors established in the USA, Holland, Portugal and South Korea.

By the end of this year the export order book for the year is expected to hit the £6million mark, and in the next few years export business is planned to be worth over £20million.

Andrew Peace, managing director, said: “In 2008/2009 the company was predominantly a UK-based specialist design and build contractor in the water industry with a very solid customer base. Since then we have seen expansion in to the UK renewable energy sector and with that a major expansion of our services into other countries.”

KIRK was developed in 2004 to become a specialist contractor in the water and wastemarkets, and is now the leading storage tank contractor in the UK, and is quickly becoming recognised as one of the leading global experts in the Biogas market. Mr Peace said: “Our export strategy is very much linked to the development of renewable energy policies throughout the world so it is critical to get the timing right when markets are just developing.

“We have various business models and strategies that will be most effective for different regions.”