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Record Sales for high flying UK Manufacturer

1 May 2012

Steelite International has posted record sales as it prepares to expand its state of the art manufacturing base.

For the second year running the innovative manufacturer broke its turnover record with a 9.4 per cent increase to £66.3million (60.6million in 2012)

And profits of £7.9million pave the way for a major reinvestment through 2012 to further strengthen the company's market-leading position.

Healthy order books meant production at the hi-tech factory in Stoke-on-Trent also increased, and as a result the workforce has grown this year to more than 700.

The results revealed a strong international performance, with sales to its biggest overseas market, the United States, growing rapidly by 11.25 per cent. Commenting on the results, Steelite International Chief Executive Kevin Oakes said "This is an outstanding performance especially as the hospitality sector remains a highly competitive international marketplace.

"We have maintained and strengthened our position as the UK's largest provider of tableware by reinvesting our profits and striving to lead the way in innovation. This year has seen exciting new product launches - with ranges such as Optik, Craft and Koto setting the trends for others to follow.

"We have also invested heavily in new technology, marketing, and in training, developing and engaging our staff and young apprentices - all of whom we know are vital to our future success.

"The Made in England message continues to be a strong part of the company ethos and demand for quality UK manufactured tableware is becoming increasingly desirable. Our brand is growing rapidly in the United States as well as building a strong following in Eastern Europe and developing markets such as Asia.

Sounding a note of caution, he added "Business conditions remain challenging despite our growth, and there is a lot of pressure to compete across the globe. Increasingly costs are also a constant concern with energy prices particularly having a big impact on the business.

Commenting on plans to develop the Steelite International factory, Mr Oakes added "We have secured more than £2million of Government support through the Regional Growth Fund but this is just the tip of the iceberg - the new plant and developments at Middleport would amount to more than a £10million investment. We still, however, have a lot of work to do over the coming months to make these projects happen.

"Nevertheless, this is excellent news for Steelite International and for the Stoke-on-Trent pottery industry. We believe that the reinvestment of our profits in future growth will be the platform for even greater success."