A Co Down firm has won its first business in Australia, supplying construction equipment worth £300,000.
Hill Engineering, which employs 50 people at Carnbane Business Park, in Newry, is a specialist in the design and manufacture of earth moving attachments for the quarrying, mining and construction industry,
It secured the Australian order for its TEFRA branded couplers, after developing a marketing campaign in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, with Invest NI's help.
Ian Hill, managing director of Hill Engineering, said the new business was "very encouraging".
"It's a very good result from an initial marketing drive there to set up a distribution network," Mr Hill said. "Australia was one of three markets that we researched as part of our strategic focus on building further sales outside the UK.
"We decided to concentrate on Australia because the economy there is reasonably strong.
"Market research indicated that our couplers were more advanced particularly in safety terms and convenience than those already available there.
"We then took part in a major construction exhibition in Brisbane and met several potential business partners.
"Subsequent discussions led to an initial order for our couplers which establishes our presence in this important but highly competitive market for construction equipment."
Hill Engineering sales director, Lee Palmer, said it is currently looking at business ventures in Canada and South America.
"Around 95% of our business is now outside Northern Ireland," Mr Palmer said.
"Around 80% of that is England, 15% is in the United States, Canada and Australia, and the rest is in Northern Ireland and the south of Ireland.
Invest NI's director of trade Dr Vicky Kell said Hill was reaping the rewards of a "very structured approach" to export marketing.
"The success in Australia has encouraged the company to investigate opportunities in other markets beyond Europe, which are continuing to grow steadily and are investing in infrastructure projects," she said.