Radcliffe (Greater Manchester)-based James Halstead plc wiped the floor with the opposition to take the coveted North West region trophy in the 2008 International Trade Awards, sponsored by HSBC. James Halstead plc, founded in 1915, now specialises in the production of contract and industrial flooring products.

Company chairman Geoffrey Halstead, grandson of founder James, collected the award at HSBC’s Manchester Commercial Centre in Spinningfields on 15 April. He said: ‘we are delighted to receive this award which especially recognises the contribution of our excellent team to the achievement of success in many markets worldwide’.

HSBC’s Head of Corporate Banking for the North West, Alan Rigby, said: ‘As a major global financial services organisation, HSBC is really delighted to see a highly reputable North West business like James Halstead plc gaining recognition for its very successful trade activity. Over many years, the group has been completely focussed on building a sustainable international business and this strategy continues to serve it well.

’As HSBC knows from its own operations around the world, establishing a strong global brand takes considerable time and effort to understand customer needs and to also become familiar with local customs and practices — James Halstead’s impressive track record firmly indicates it has performed strongly in all these key areas.’

Geoffrey Halstead moved his grandfather’s and father’s textile business into new fields in 1974, building on initial expertise in producing sheet vinyl flooring. The company’s hugely successful Polyflor range, and slip-resistant, easy-clean Polysafe, now sell in countries around the globe.

The judges were impressed by James Halstead’s investment in research and development, wide and broad market penetration, and commitment to staff development and reward. In a difficult climate for manufacturers, James Halstead has managed to shrug off rising energy and raw material costs to post a record set of half-year results.

They have increased turnover by almost 15 per cent to £78.5m increasing profits in the same period by more than 16 per cent to £13.1m, much of this derived from buoyant markets in West and East Europe, Asia and Australasia. Over 60 per cent of their output now goes overseas.

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