Big exports boost for engineering company

STRONG worldwide demand has led to a 51 per cent increase in exports at President Engineering Group (PEGL).

The Sheffield-based company reported a 44 per cent leap in sales for the 18 months to April 30, helped by strong demand from developing markets in the Far East and Russia.

The group has two divisions: Bestobell, which produces valves for cryogenic gas and liquefied natural gas applications, and Conflow, which manufactures equipment for water control and the suppression of dust and fire for mining industries.

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PEGL was formed following a management buy-out by directors Mark Henley, Marie Cooper and John Waddington in 2010. They saw the opportunity to increase UK sales, which have grown by 20 per cent, and actively grow other markets such as Europe and the US as well as developing markets in the Far East and Russia.

The group reported a turnover of £10.3m and said exports now account for 80 per cent of sales. This was boosted by a £1.5m contract to supply valves to Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai.

Mark Henley, managing director of PEGL, said: “The Bestobell and Conflow brands both date back more than 50 years and have earned a global reputation for being the best designed, most robust products in the market.

“We have found that customers are willing to invest in a premium product from us not only because they do not want to compromise on safety or reliability, but also because the use of such reputable brands adds credibility to their entire system.”

PEGL said Grant Thornton had played a vital role in supporting its development.

Peter Edwards, director at Grant Thornton in Sheffield, said: “It’s great to be working with them to continue Sheffield’s reputation for global manufacturing excellence.”