Flooring manufacturer lays down plans for international growth

Specialist flooring manufacturer Burmatex, a division of Airea, has revealed plans to further expand its international presence after significantly growing its export sales.
The Ossett-based group, which employs 200 people, has seen its overseas like-for-like sales grow by 20 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year as it continues to enter new overseas markets.
Now Tony Mauriello, international sales director at Airea, is urging businesses across the region considering the launch of international operations to grab the opportunity as the economic recovery gathers pace.
Mr Mauriello is a Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) export ambassador, part of the organisation’s We are International campaign.
The initiative aims to de-mystify exporting and help more companies across the Leeds City Region realise the immense business opportunities of international trade.
Airea, which mainly designs, manufactures and supplies flooring to the commercial property sector through its Burmatex and Ryalux brands, sells its products to more than 50 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.
Mr Mauriello, who offers export help and advice to companies as an ambassador, said: “Presently around 16 per cent of our turnover is from exports and we’ve set a target for that to increase to 30 per cent over the next four years.
“We sell through the technical specification route via architects, consultants, interior designers, general contractors and real estate companies using a combination of national distributors, flooring contractors and agents. We also have dedicated sales operations in both Poland and Dubai which have been key factors in our success. We believe there are further opportunities for international growth for both ourselves and other companies across the Leeds City Region.”
Mr Mauriello’s top tips for companies looking to export successfully include: thoroughly researching target markets, suppliers and dealers through desk-bound investigation and trade missions; appointing English speaking distributors or agents – irrespective of whether a company has a foreign language capability; and ensuring payments are made, either in advance or through credit insurance being in place.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “Airea is a fantastic example of a great Yorkshire business that having enjoyed many years of success in the UK has not rested on its laurels but developed an innovative model to allow it to capitalise on global opportunities.
“This innovative approach to international sales is enabling Airea to enjoy continued success and other companies looking to export can replicate this model.”
Mr Mauriello added: “Initiatives such as We are International, with the support of its partners, are essential to helping Leeds City Region companies to achieve their global ambitions and our regional economy to punch above its weight internationally, creating more economic growth, more jobs, and more business opportunities for companies of all sizes and from all sectors.
“As a company Airea has benefited from this support as business opportunities continue to become increasingly international.”
For further information on the We are International initiative visit www.weareinternational.co.uk