Steelite in £10m factory revamp

Steelite International, one of the largest suppliers of tableware for the professional catering industry, is planning to expand its UK manufacturing capabilities in the wake of record sales.

The company announced today that its turnover rose 9% in 2011 to £66m, the second year in a row that it has reached a new high.

Steelite also banked a pre-tax profit of almost £8m, the net proceeds of which will be ploughed back into the business to strengthen its market position.

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The firm has already had to increase its production schedule to meet demand, while the number of workers at its Stoke-on-Trent factory now exceeds 700.

Steelite International CEO, Kevin Oakes, said plans to expand the facility would materialise in the coming months.

“We have secured more than £2m of Government support through the Regional Growth Fund but this is just the tip of the iceberg — the new plant and developments at Middleport would amount to more than a £10m investment,” he said. “We still, however, have a lot of work to do over the coming months to make these projects happen.”

Steelite also employs around 90 staff overseas and said sales to the US, its largest market, grew 11% last year.

“The Made in England message continues to be a strong part of the company ethos and demand for quality UK manufactured tableware is becoming increasingly desirable,” added Oakes. “Our brand is growing rapidly in the United States as well as building a strong following in Eastern Europe and developing markets such as Asia.”

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