Midlands manufacturer wins first export sales to Africa

Midlands manufacturer wins first export sales to Africa

A West Midlands firm that specialises in designing and manufacturing flat roof support systems is on target to export one third of its goods every year, after winning sales in Africa.

Strut Direct, which is based in Wednesbury, says that winning its first order for £129,000 to supply water treatment plants in Nigeria will help it to achieve its export goals.

Steve Richards, managing director and founder of the family-run business, says the firm is planning to expand its market in Nigeria and look to new sectors. It also plans to start selling its StrutFoot range of flat roof systems in Africa next year.

Christine Hamilton, interim regional director of the Department for International Trade West Midlands, said: "The West Midlands has a long and proud heritage of innovation and manufacturing and Strut Direct demonstrates that even a lack of language skills is no barrier to exporting success."

The firm has worked with Marion Doherty, an international trade adviser (ITA) in the Department for International Trade team in the Black Country, for the past three years to grow the company’s international profile.

Steve said: "Our export business is growing to over 30% of our turnover and in the next 18 months we estimate that our growth to be £2-3m on this year’s turnover, which is on target for £4.2m, our StrutFoot products are selling well in the European markets.

"Our international trade adviser and the support staff have been an invaluable help in us moving our export business forward. It makes a difference when you are dealing with people who have been hands on in the market place."

Strut Direct is on target for doubling its sales to £620,000 in its second year of trading with a company in France, while in Germany it has eight new projects, which could be worth as much as £250,000. If the sales go as the company expects, it could achieve more than £1,000,000 of growth by the end of 2017.