The Tintometer Ltd has today announced the honour of being presented with the Queen’s Award for International Trade: the highest distinction that can be bestowed upon a UK company. It wins the award for growth in overseas earnings of 160% over the last six years.
‘We are so delighted to receive this prestigious award. It is deserved recognition for the hard work and talent of our whole team,’ says Chris Counsell, Managing Director. ‘It is even more important to us when you consider that our export growth was achieved during the peak of the financial crisis and the worst recession in the last 100 years.’
The Tintometer Ltd. is a 130 year old company, founded in Salisbury in 1885 by Joseph Williams Lovibond. It is now based in Amesbury, Wiltshire, with three other manufacturing sites in UK and one in India. Over the last 11 years, the family business has grown into an international group, with its headquarters at Tintometer GmbH in Dortmund, Germany. The company manufactures water testing instruments and chemical reagents, and also instruments for measuring colour, all under the Lovibond® brand. Customers are worldwide, with over 75% of sales to countries outside UK.
‘One of our distinguishing factors is that we have always been a family business,’ explains Counsell. ‘We are now owned by Cay-Peter Voss, whose entrepreneurial spirit has been a key factor in the group’s rapid growth. A family ethos means staff have always been seen as the key to success. A family can take a long term perspective, constantly investing in the company’s development. We also like to be flexible for customers, and to offer them a choice of technologies.’
Increasingly the company’s products are sought after in developing countries, where there is a need to improve water quality and control the colour of products in industrial processes. Realising that the financial crisis would affect demand in traditional export markets, such as the EU and USA, the company focused on growing sales in the Far East, China and India, which were less affected by the slow-down.
According to Marke Reid, Sales and Marketing Director, ‘We had to increase our sales presence in the countries which were still showing reasonable GDP growth. So we proceeded to first establish our own sales presence in Malaysia, followed by China and then India. Local nationals have been recruited and they do an excellent job. This local presence means we can better serve our customers and distributors.’
Looking to the future, Counsell confirms that the outlook is bright. ‘ We take a strong ethical stance to doing business, we are increasing our investment in research and development, and we are looking to improve our service to match the best. Water and colour quality control are two growing markets. The Queen’s Award for International Trade is a very important accolade for us, and the team will be building on this to achieve even more in the years to come.’