A Coleshill firm looking to expand its business in emerging market countries has secured new orders in Latvia.
Oaklands Plastics specialises in rota-moulding, and the design and manufacture of hugely diverse plastic products such as mortar bins, barrier systems, street furniture, and kerbs for go-karting.
Established in 1990, the company has 35 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £3 million.
It opted for expansion in Eastern Europe after receiving help from export support service UK Trade & Investment.
Director Matt White said: “An Overseas Market Introduction Service report on Latvia and Lithuania from UK Trade & Investment’s commercial team last year got us off to a very good start in helping us identify potential distributors.
“One of our team, Gatis Priede, who is from Latvia, continued the work with telephone research. We also visited the market in March this year to meet existing customers, and make some new contacts.”
As a result of the links created the company is now selling road and pedestrian barrier systems, rubbish chutes and mortar bins. The business is estimated to be worth £100,000.
“This represents around 20 per cent of our export turnover this year and the total potential market is still to be quantified,” said Mr White. “We have also started investigating neighbouring Lithuania and Estonia, there is a good chance of an order for barriers there too.”
The company was the previous beneficiary of support through the Passport to Export programme, and is now looking at developing new business in France and other territories with further help from UKTI.
International trade adviser Mick Page, based at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Oaklands team’s approach was to select the UKTI service appropriate to their business and combine this with in-house production experience and country knowledge, which has paid off nicely in the Latvian market.
“Behind this story, though, is a well-run family business with great technical ability, producing an unusually diverse range of plastic mouldings that can be applied in many sectors. Firms like this have more chance of success abroad.”
UKTI provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade as well as helping foreign firms looking to invest in the UK.
It brings together the work of teams in British embassies and Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts overseas and government departments across Whitehall.