Double EEF win for Blatchford's

Andover Advertiser: The Export Growth Award (l-r) Giles Derry, from Dunedin, marketing manager Bernadine Blease, and CEO Stephen Blatchford, from Blatchford’s and EEF region director, Jim Davison The Export Growth Award (l-r) Giles Derry, from Dunedin, marketing manager Bernadine Blease, and CEO Stephen Blatchford, from Blatchford’s and EEF region director, Jim Davison

PROSTHETIC and orthotic products manufacturer Chas A Blatchford & Sons has had a double win at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2013.

The company won the Export Growth Award and Smart Product Award, at a regional ceremony held at Mercedes-Benz World, in Weybridge.

The firm, headquartered on Kingsland Business Park, in Basingstoke,will now go onto the national finals, which will be held in London in January 2014, where they will compete against other regional winners from across the UK.

Chief executive, Stephen Blatchford, who is currently with David Cameron and Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, on a trade mission in China, said: “We took a complex product into a complex overseas market, making adjustments to meet demand.

“Over a five year period we increased our product development, production, engineering and support teams, investing significantly in new production equipment.

“We are delighted with our results as our sales have grown above expectations with increased margins making a significant impact on our business.”

The South East Export Growth Award, sponsored by the UK mid-market private equity house Dunedin, was presented to Blatchford’s for its commitment to export, product innovation, pricing structure, penetration strategy and results.

The award recognises manufacturers who have most successfully traded goods and or services to a new or existing export market within the last three years.

Dunedin partner Giles Derry, said: “UK manufacturing represents some of the best talent in the world and there were some outstanding entries in this category - well done to the runners-up. “We congratulate Chas A Blatchford & Sons for winning the award for Export Growth in the South East. “They have cultivated new and creative strategies to build and sustain their export growth business and they should be particularly proud of this fantastic achievement.”

The South East Smart Product Award, was sponsored by Leap from Pera Technology. It was awarded to the company for the development of a new product that helped it grow and be more profitable.

Backed by significant investment the process involved two design and manufacturing technologies to produce a product specifically for the US market.

Speaking about Blatchford’s success, Paul Tranter, chief executive of sponsor Pera Technology, said: “Having worked with more than 500 businesses on new product development programmes I can safely say that Chas A Blatchford & Sons is a fantastic example of a truly innovative company.”

EEF regional director for the South East, Jim Davison, said: “Chas A Blatchford & Sons is a true South East business success story that highlights the role the region plays in driving the UK economy forward.

“By taking bold steps and investing in its people, resources and technology, they have grown their business despite the challenging economic climate.

“Ambitious companies such Blatchford’s are an asset to the South East and are very worthy of their success.”

The annual awards are hosted by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and recognise excellence in enterprise, innovation, exports, environmental performance, skills development, health and safety and apprenticeships among UK manufacturers.

The headline sponsor for the awards is Aldermore Bank.

The national finals will take place in London on Thursday January 30.

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