Northern Ireland defibrillator sales to Middle East jump by 60% in year
Northern Ireland defibrillator firm HeartSine has boosted sales to the Middle East by 60% over the last year, it has emerged.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster praised the firm for its success in the Middle East, ahead of a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
The sales performance of its automatic external defibrillators (AED) was a "tremendous success story" for the life and sciences sector in Northern Ireland.
The firm was co-founded by the late Professor John Anderson, who developed the world's first portable defibrillator for use outside hospitals in the 1960s.
The minister is joining the Middle East's largest life and health sciences exhibition, Arab Health, which takes place this week.
Life and sciences employ more than 7,500 people and sold 90% of its output internationally. It accounts for around 12.5% of Northern Ireland's total exports.
The minister said Heartsine had successfully expanded into markets including the UAE, and into sectors such as oil and gas.
Declan O'Mahoney, HeartSine's chief executive officer, said: "Our fast growth in the Middle East is the result of a strategic decision to focus resources on developing markets such as the UAE, a focus which is producing business across a range of sectors and locations.
"Many governments, particularly in the Gulf, are investing substantial amounts on health provision including cardiac services and especially emergency care technology. Our standing as the only manufacturer of AEDs in the UK and Ireland and heritage in pioneering the lifesaving technology with the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast are important marketing advantages.
"As a result of our success, the region is now a priority market for expansion in 2015. We expect to establish several new partners across the region as we continue to build awareness and treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest."
The company, based in Belfast, sells its AEDs in over 70 countries.