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25 Years Of Success In Stoke-On-Trent

14 April 2008

Stoke-on-Trent based manufacturer and supplier of tableware, cutlery and stemware Steelite International, is celebrating 25 successful years in business. To mark the 25th anniversary, Steelite International held a commemorative dinner last week for company directors, past and present, at the British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation Club in Station Road, Stoke.

The 25th anniversary dinner saw the current management team joined by the original company directors including Founding Chairman and Chief Executive David Johnson, to share their memories and toast Steelite International's future success. A bespoke commemorative plate was specially produced for the event and presented to each of the guests.

Steelite International was established in 1983, following the purchase of the hotelware division of Royal Doulton by David Johnson. Mr Johnson led the company's development and expansion both in the UK and overseas, until he exited the business in 2002. The transfer of ownership in 2002 put Steelite International in the hands of its current team, which is now led by Chief Executive Kevin Oakes.

With its factory and headquarters in Orme Street, Burslem, the company has continued to go from strength to strength in the past 25 years. Today, Steelite International employs over 750 people in the UK as well as 74 employees overseas. In addition to buoyant sales in this country, Steelite International now supplies its leading tableware to over 130 countries worldwide. Its products can be seen in some of the world's leading establishments including the Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, the Emirates Stadium, O2 Arena and onboard the Queen Victoria ocean liner.

The vast majority of employees at Steelite International enjoy long lengths of service with the company. Over 10 per cent of the current staff actually worked for the company during its days as part of Royal Doulton, including Chief Executive, Kevin Oakes, who joined the company in 1977.

"We are delighted to have reached this milestone in the company's history," said Kevin Oakes. "The pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent has declined in some areas, but Steelite International has continually gone from strength to strength and has achieved significant growth year on year. We are already looking forward to the next 25 years!"

"The success of Steelite International must be regarded as the highlight of the pottery industry in the last 25 years," said David Johnson, Founding Chairman. "Its remarkable success is due to dedication, hard work, expertise in the field, teamwork and an in-depth understanding of tabletop requirements in the hotel and catering industry. The future offers a marvellous opportunity for the growth of Steelite International."