Denton-based engineering and fastening business Francis Kirk Group has passed the £200K order milestone after opening up trading opportunities in the Middle East.
The family-run business, which celebrates 150 years of trading history this year, appointed a distribution partner in the Middle East 18 months ago – The Alipoor Company – and is now reaping the rewards for a patient, focused approach.
The £200K total order value covers a range of products including the Philidas self-locking nut which was expected to lead the charge, but also includes other fasteners, tools and washers from main branded suppliers including Molyslip, Bondlock, Bibielle and Dormer Pramet.
Managing Director Tom Kirk said that the sales emphasis had been on quality not price and they had capitalised on manufacturing sectors in growth in The Middle East like the automotive industry where the Philidas nut is widely used in the production of Renault cars.
It also has wide-ranging applications in the oil, mining, rail and earth moving machinery sectors which are well represented in the region.
Tom commented: “It is pleasing that the order total to date is wider than just Philidas. We have invested a lot of time meeting people face to face, explaining the breadth of supply from us and ease of access and quality. British goods come with their own credentials in terms of standards and manufacturing companies in The Middle East aspire to buy. We took advantage of that.”
In August last year the company appointed a new distribution partner in Dubai – Integrated Auto Supplies – which has also played a key part in extending export activity in the Middle East in the last 12 months.
Activity has taken the fifth-generation business to £7million turnover (end 2017), almost doubling it from £4.75m in 2016.
Tom again: “Export has always been key to our business. We’ve concentrated on redeveloping exports again – especially in the Middle East – but also in Europe, Australia and the US and we are delighted with the progress we are making.
“Today, exports account for 35% of our turnover and we are committed to further increasing it to 60% over the next five years.”