Podiatry firm grows Middle East footprint

Podiatry firm grows Middle East footprint

Support from UK Export Finance has allowed Algeos to expand its services across the Middle East as it grows to a £10m turnover firm.

Established in 1881, Liverpool-based Algeos was bought by Alan Sheridan in 1990. Under the Sheridan family’s ownership, Algeos has grown from a turnover of £65,000, driven by diversification into supplies for the orthopaedic and podiatric industries, and by finding alternative uses for its products, they could expand their market range.

“Finding gaps in the global market and alternative uses for our products has been the key to our international growth” says Jackie Fisher, chief executive officer.

Algeos began exporting when it identified an opportunity in the international market as countries in the Middle East experienced a spike in diabetes. Algeos produce specialist foot wear to prevent lower limb loss caused by diabetes, and in 2010, the company opened an office in Dubai to facilitate the supply of its life-changing foot health range to the region’s diabetes sufferers.

Soon after, it won a major 2 year-long contract to provide these products to SGH, the Executive Board of the Health Ministers’ Council of GCC States, which controls procurement for hospitals in six countries. Algeos has continued to win this tender in each year since.

The 2015 order was a particularly significant one, nearly double the value of previous years at US$4.2m, and with it SGH required extended payment terms.

Working with Dan Green, international trade manager at Natwest, the company’s bank, UK Export Finance (UKEF) could provide a solution. By guaranteeing part of a £650,000 loan to support Algeos working capital, UKEF could help it access the finance it needed to fulfil this major contract, paving the way for continued success in the region.

“Without the short term financial support UKEF and Natwest were able to provide, we would not have had the resources to fulfil this significant order. Working with UKEF has given us the opportunity to realise a substantial increase in our revenue and to grow our presence in an important market,” Jackie added.

Kevin Ledwith, export finance adviser for the North West, said: “UKEF is here to help make exports happen. By providing a solution to finance this export order, we were able to support Algeos’ ambitions to grow its sales abroad.”