A FIRM which has announced its best-ever financial performance during its 25th anniversary year was last night crowned East Lancashire’s top business.

Blackburn-based MDA, which has also recently moved into a brand new £6.5m headquarters at Walker Park, won the prestigious Business of the Year title at the 2012 Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards at Ewood Park.

MDA sources, stores and distributes a huge range of point-of-sale items, marketing materials and consumable goods for some of the world’s biggest brands across Britain and abroad.

In the past few months the company (founded in Mill Hill, Blackburn by Michael Davies who remains chairman) has gained new contracts with international drinks conglomerate Diageo and BlackBerry. The brands join existing customers including Coca Cola, Kraft, Aviva, Molson Coors, Gala Coral and soft drinks firm AG Barr.

Around 350 people heard a wide range of success stories as three finalists competed for the top place in each of 11 categories.

Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young said: “Despite the continuing international recession companies across East Lancashire have shown tremendous enterprise, ingenuity and skill in finding new markets and new products. They have managed to grow and prosper in the most difficult of times – and that’s a great achievement.

Other winners included Colne’s Holker Network Solutions as small business of the year with Blackburn-based digital signage providers Dynamax Technologies taking the honours for innovation and technology.

Team of the year was Academy Print and Design, Altham with a one-stop media village while Colonial Gifts trading as iflorist won the export award and Haslingden carpet underlay and underfelt makers Interfloor scooped the environment award because of a highly impressive recycling record.

Deal of the year went to PVC-U window system makers VEKA plc of Burnley where turnover has almost tripled in a year and the first manufacturer of the year award was scooped by Darwen-based metal fabrication experts WEC group which has seen consistent growth in turnover, profits and staff during the recession and achieved record sales figures.

High street retailer was Blackburn’s recently re-opened store Reidy’s Home of Music; Burnley aerospace company Aircelle was honoured with the social and community development title and the award for training and development was won by Altham-based Senator International.

Lancashire entertainer Norman Prince compered the event which was sponsored by Blackburn College, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Burnley Council, Themis- the business training division for Burnley College, Accrol Papers, BAE Systems, worldwide business experts Deloitte, Hyndburn Enterprise Trust, and legal firm Napthens.

The Winners

  • Training and Development sponsored by Blackburn College: Senator International
  • Small Business of the Year sponsored by Hyndburn Enterprise: Trust Holker Network Solutions
  • Innovation and Technology: Dynamax Technologies
  • Team of the Year, sponsored by Napthens: Academy Print and Design
  • Export Award, sponsored by Burnley Council: Colonial Gifts t/a iflorists
  • Environment Award, sponsored by Themis – the business training division of Burnley College: Interfloor Ltd
  • Deal of the Year sponsored by Deloitte: VEKA plc
  • High Street Retailer sponsored by Blackburn with Darwen Council: Reidy’s Home of Music
  • Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by Accrol Papers: WEC Group
  • Social and Community Development: Aircelle Ltd
  • Business of the Year, sponsored by BAE Systems: MDA