Snooker baize firm pockets £1m orders in China

HOT on the heels of Prime Minister David Cameron's return from China, Yorkshire businessman Adam Hainsworth is also returning home having secured £1m in orders from Chinese leisure companies.

Hainsworth, based in Stanningley near Pudsey, specialises in upmarket snooker and pool baize.

The company was awarded contracts to supply 700 baize rolls to a number of leading Chinese pool and snooker table manufacturers.

Mr Hainsworth said there is also strong demand from Chinese piano makers who want the best materials as they upgrade production quality.

"Each piano takes two kilos of wool felt, so this is another growth area with substantial potential," he said.

Hainsworth is capitalising on low freight costs by using incoming containers to export its goods back to China.

"In an age where Chinese imports to our country are increasingly dominant, we think it's particularly encouraging that a British firm is leading the way," said Mr Hainsworth.

His co-director Rachel Hainsworth is currently in Indonesia reviewing a supply contract for Samick, a 32 per cent owner in piano maker Steinway.

"We are now the main supplier of woven piano cloths to the world's largest manufacturer of piano parts in China and we're negotiating with other leading manufacturers across the Far East," said Ms Hainsworth.

Sales of premium piano brands are increasing in line with the region's rise in prosperity and Hainsworth's piano cloth sales to China are 300,000 a year.

"This means our cloths will probably be in every new-built quality piano across the world," said Ms Hainsworth.

Mr Cameron's visit to China was part of a concerted effort to double British trade with the country over the next five years and to begin closing the huge gap between imports and exports, currently standing at 19bn a year.

The UK exports 7.7bn of goods and services to China, but Mr Cameron is confident this can reach 18bn by 2015.