Raise a glass for china range
Belleek Pottery is looking to break into the lucrative market for fine dining tableware after launching a new china range.
The Co Fermanagh company, which employs around 200 people, said the new white bone china tableware in its Belleek Living range was a "major departure" from its traditional ivory parian china base.
Belleek said the product is aimed at the Irish market, both north and south, and has been launched in response to customer demand.
Its introduction is part of Belleek's plan to increase sales in Ireland to £14m by 2011.
Orders have been received from five star hotels and top restaurants across the island, and the range is also being targeted at the bridal gift list sector.
Commenting on the launch of Belleek Living Pure, managing director John Maguire said: "The move into white bone china is an exciting opportunity for Belleek Living and takes the brand into a new sector of the tableware market.
"Our research has identified significant opportunities for Belleek Living in the fine dining sector, and we expect to see continued growth for the brand with the launch of Pure."
The Belleek Living brand was launched in 2003 after a £4m investment. Sales so far this year are up 15% on last year, in part due to its entry into the jewellery sector.
This year the company appointed Co Fermanagh chef Neven Maguire as an ambassador for Belleek Living.
While the company has outsourced jobs to the Far East and eastern Europe, its traditional Belleek china is still made in its Fermanagh factory.