China has become one of Denby Ceramics’ fastest-growing markets, as the firm continues an ambitious expansion strategy.
In just two years, the company has seen its sales outside of the traditional markets of the UK and the US rise by 18 per cent. In 2010, just two per cent of sales were away from these markets.
Much of the growth has been in Asia, with China’s rising middle classes being largely responsible. According to the firm’s managing director, Garry Biggs, western brands are becoming increasingly attractive in the country. He said:
“I am sure that there are those local producers that are supplying the mass market but the fastest growing market is for the aspiring middle class that wants western brands.”
The expansion has been possible thanks in part to an invoice discounting facility being in place. Denby has also just extended the facility, allowing it to expand into India, Pakistan and Russia too, where similar rising middle classes are seeking western brands.
Biggs also explained that customers are eager to extend the terms of their credit. The facility is helping this, as it allows Denby to manage its cash flow better between the gap from products being manufactured and invoices being settled.
All across the UK, including Scotland, ceramic firms are seeing their fortunes rise. According to recent data from the Office of National Statistics, the industry contributed more than £430 million to the UK economy last year. That is a fifth more than the industry contributed in 2008, and with fewer firms.