05 October 2016
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Francis Kirk Group in ambitious export drive

Engineering and fastening business Francis Kirk Group has expanded its geographical reach with the appointment of a distribution partner in the Middle East

The move will have a key part to play in the future growth of the fifth-generation business and is expected to increase turnover by the end of 2017 from £4.75million to £7million.

Developments will be mainly driven by exports of the company’s Philidas automotive and industrial fastening products.

Philidas is a specialist nut used in the production of Peugeot cars, but it also has wide-ranging applications in the oil, mining, rail and earth moving machinery sectors, which are well represented in the region.

Tom Kirk (pictured), managing director of Francis Kirk Group, commented: “The Middle East offers us huge potential – in terms of size, scope, wealth, workforce capability and the desire to work with the West. There is also a real kudos that they are buying quality products from a British company and they are very keen to invest in the UK to help promote and develop their own country.”

Francis Kirk Group’s move into the Middle East market follows the European expansion of Philidas. The company acquired the brand and relaunched it in 2013, and, since then, it has also performed very well in markets in the US, the Far East and India, the group reports.

In partnership with The Alipour Company, based in Tehran, the intention is to capitalise on opportunities in the automotive sector and new markets across the region by offering a single source fastening and cutting tools solution to manufacturers.

“Export has always been key to our business,” added Kirk. “Only five years ago – before changes to suppliers and their distribution policies resulted in a refocus for us – export accounted for 40% of our turnover. Then it dipped. We’ve concentrated on redeveloping exports again and are delighted with the progress we’ve made. Today, exports account for 20% of our turnover and we are committed to further increasing it to 50% over the next five years.”

Brian Wall

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