| 18.8°C Belfast

Textiles firm wins contract after weaving its magic on Canadians

A County Down company has won a contract to supply a range of oven mitts, tea cosies and aprons to Canada.

Ulster Weavers will supply both catalogue and bespoke-designed kitchen coordinates, including tea towels and bags, to the legendary Hudson's Bay Company in a one-year deal which could be worth £150,000.

The contract is the Holywood company's first export to Canada and follows an Invest NI trade mission to the region.

"Winning business from such a prestigious customer as the Hudson's Bay Company gives us a very solid platform for continued growth in key North American markets," said Kenneth Webb, Managing Director of Ulster Weavers.

The deal comes on the heels of Ulster Weavers' appointment as a licensee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to produce a range of London 2012 kitchen textiles.

And, as one of Northern Ireland's two Royal Warrant holders, it recently made two designs based on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a move which has helped boost exports.

"Sales outside Northern Ireland now provide over 95% of our business, and over the past year we've achieved a 7% growth in turnover which includes additional exports to high-end customers in Germany, France, Italy and Asia Pacific nations such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore," Kenneth Webb said.

"This growth is a direct result of our investment in export marketing. We now have five staff based in China and two based in both the US and Great Britain. Our success is based on providing customers with quality products to their specific and often exacting requirements, designed by our expert team in Holywood.

"In addition to the Hudson's Bay Company, we supply numerous other prestigious clients such as the National Trust, Fortnum -amp; Mason, Harrods and John Lewis in Great Britain."

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, welcomed the Canadian export deal. She said: "Securing business from Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's oldest company which has been trading in Canada since 1670, is a marvellous endorsement of the commitment of Ulster Weavers."