Posted on Thursday 13 June 2013 by Ulster Business

Viscount Awards   Brookvent  3

Pictured at the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards are Paul Clark of UTV, Gillian Culhane, from Aer Lingus, Declan Gormley, Managing Director of Brookvent and Aer Lingus cabin crew member Julie Davidson.

Local manufacturing firm Brookvent experienced a more than 50 per cent rise in turnover in 2012 through significant investment in its export capacity, the company has announced.

The Dunmurry-based manufacturer of energy-saving ventilation systems said it had seen significant growth in its main European markets; the Baltic States, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as its global markets, specifically in China.

The firm's products give homeowners an energy-efficient way to ventilate their houses while greatly reducing heat loss.

Since 2009, the firm has added 25 positions locally and internationally with the business now employing seven members of staff in its Polish office. During that time, Brookvent has invested heavily in its R&D capacity with a further £285,000 committed to the development of new products and having recently launched an innovative new product, the aircycle 1.2.

Declan Gormley, managing director of Brookvent, said: "Having built a solid base in our local market, we took a decision to branch into the mechanical ventilation market and exports. Moving in this direction has been a natural progression for us as innovation is in the DNA of our firm.

"This proactive approach means that we've sought out new and updated ways to get our products to new customers: export and e-commerce are key pillars of this approach as not only do they provide a direct route to connect with customers, they can also open up entirely new markets.

"The challenging economic conditions around 2009 altered the company's perspective on the way that we approach our target markets. We had to look again at our products and processes: without question, our new export strategy has rejuvenated the company. Our decision to focus on new R&D, as well as export, have complemented each other well."

He added: "We've grown by actively seeking new markets for our existing products, as well as investing carefully in new technologies to ensure our sustainable growth in the long-term. A great example of this is our newly launched product, the aircycle 1.2, which demonstrates our commitment to continually improving our value proposition for customers.

"It's a market-leading product that can deliver significant cost-savings for our customers. It has been born out of our commitment to innovation and through our investment in a programme of continuous improvement – it shows that companies from Northern Ireland are capable of creating products that are truly world-leading.

"The Programme for Government calls for local companies to look at innovation, R&D and export as ways of creating growth and jobs – we've done all three. Our Polish office is an excellent example of this – from only beginning to research the market in 2009 through an Invest NI trade mission, we have developed a Polish Sales and Distribution hub which services mainland Europe. With a well-defined strategy, we're confident of further developing our offering overseas, particularly in China where we recently secured an initial contract worth £50,000."

Brookvent has received a number of significant business awards for its approach, including 'Medium Company of the Year' in the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards, in association with Ulster Business.

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