Belfast Telegraph

Manufacturing firm plays a blinder in European market

A Co Londonderry company has 'played a blinder' of a move by breaking into the French and German markets.

Blinds manufacturer Fourds has seen its workforce triple since taking part in an export programme, designed to develop business in the Netherlands.

With help from Invest NI, the company was introduced to a Dutch business which has helped Fourds distribute its blinds in the country. The partnership had led Fourds to launch a Dutch language website, and now it is developing French and German websites.

Managing director Cormac Diamond said the Draperstown firm is "very excited" about the move.

"Our objective is to set ourselves apart from competitors in the UK and other parts of Europe by developing a portfolio of innovative blinds," he said.

"As a result of this focus, many of our products really are unique.

"Invest NI's guidance and practical support for our commitment to innovation and European marketing activities are very important for us. For instance, the introduction to our Dutch partner has been a great success and they helped us to grow our European business."

The success of the company's exploration into the European marketplace has enabled it to create 11 new jobs in the last year.

Des Gartland, from Invest NI's north west regional office, said: "The business it has started to generate from France and Germany, two of the world's most competitive and quality conscious markets, will give this company the experience and confidence to target other global markets."