December 11 2013 Latest news:
Andy Spence, general manager of Britannia Fire, seals its new £3m contract with Rotterdam-based Drager with Roland Schwegman, Drager product and business development manager, and Jasper Buurveld, Drager unit manager.
Shaun Lowthorpe , Business editor
Friday, November 1, 2013
Norfolk-based Britannia Fire has landed a £3m contract with Dutch oil, marine and gas solutions firm Drager.
The deal with the Rotterdam-based firm means it has sole right’s to Norfolk firm’s P50 extinguisher in the Benexlux regions of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Britannia Fire - which revolutionised the traditional metal fire extinguisher it pioneered more than 40 years ago - has seen its turnover soar from £1.4m less than three years ago to a predicted £3.5m this year.
It said that worldwide demand for its new lighter more efficient P50 extinguisher – made from Kevlar with a polyethylene outer casing instead of traditional metal – is soaring.
And to keep up with orders, five new full-time staff have joined the 32-strong workforce that produce upwards of 100,000 fire extinguishers each year at its Ashwellthorpe base.
It has also taken on its first apprentice with plans to start two apprentice engineers soon.
General manager Andy Spence said it had been a phenomenal two years with sales momentum showing no signs of a downturn at a time when other British manufacturers are struggling.
“When everything appears stacked against us, our orders keep growing.”
Mr Spence visited the Drager headquarters presenting product and business development manager Roland Schwegman and unit manager Jasper Buurveld with jars of Colman’s mustard, celebrating the P50’s Norfolk heritage and “another hot product from Norfolk.”
The Drager contract comes months after the firm announced it was franchising production of the P50 – with every component made and shipped from Ashwellthorpe - and celebrated its record week with sales of £350,000.
Britannia is now looking to launch bigger models of the P50 including a 9kg and a 12kg model.