An established Sandwell based timber firm is finding new markets for its products in the Middle East, with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Palmer Timber was set up in 1916 and provides hardwood and softwood timber and wood-based panel products to a variety of industries.
The company, which has about 70 employees at its Cradley Heath site, has exported mezzanine flooring worth £250,000 to the United Arab Emirates since joining UKTI’s Passport to Export programme for new exporters a year ago.
Managing director Peter Kerr said: “We realised the potential of the growing construction sector in this market, in particular for sales of mezzanine flooring, raised access flooring and fire door cores, but needed help from UKTI to maximise the opportunities.
“Thanks to Passport to Export, we developed an export strategy and benefited from financial support to attend the Big 5 Construction Exhibition in Dubai, and have received specialist advice on how to develop our website for international markets.
“We also commissioned a number of Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) reports from UKTI’s commercial teams at the British Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“All these UKTI services led directly to us finding new clients in the market, and we’ve achieved sales of about £250,000 to the region over the past year.
“We are planning another visit to the UAE next month (May) to follow up excellent leads from UKTI’s Britain in the Region event in Dubai, which we attended last November.
“The help from UKTI has been outstanding, especially the advice and support from our international trade adviser Maggie Neale. She helped us devise our export strategy, advised us on cultural and legal issues in the market, and also assisted with the wording of letters of credit to ensure safe receipt of funds.”
UKTI international trade adviser Maggie Neale, based at Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “Palmer Timber has an excellent product and a commitment to developing internationally. This, combined with the strategic planning, research and support available via UKTI, has proved to be a successful formula.
“The management team’s willingness to embrace working practices associated with new markets will ensure sustained growth in the future. I look forward to working with Palmer Timber and congratulating them on their success for a long time to come.”
UKTI’s Passport to Export programme provides a package of support for new or novice exporters, including a free export health check, attendance at an export workshop, assistance in formulating an international trade strategy and funding towards implementing this strategy, quality training and mentoring advice and access to the full range of UKTI services.