Tennis is a real net gain
Start Survive Thrive
Bookie hits big time
A FREE employment law seminar is being staged at Digmoor Community Centre, Skelmersdale, on June 22, from 12 noon to 4pm, organised by South West Lancashire Independent Community Advice Network. To book a place contact ICAN on 01695726269, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister visits trio of firms LORD Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, visited Liverpool yesterday to meet three of the best export success stories in the region. The minister spent time with engineering firm Clarke Energy in Knowsley, lubricants maker RS Clare & Co in Toxteth and carmaker Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood. Lord Green was visiting Merseyside to highlight the importance of international trade following the launch of the new UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) strategy ‘Britain Open for Business.’ Lord Green said: “Local growth is how we will strengthen our wider economy and improve our standing Internationally.”
WARRINGTON is ● one of 10 UK locations trialling an HM
Revenue & Customs (HMRC) single compliance process for enquiries across a range of different taxes designed to standardise processes and reduce costs. The new process will be rolled out nationally from January 2012, subject to the results of the pilot. David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “A single compliance process could help HMRC improve the customer experience and reduce costs.” PRAISE: Trade minister Lord Green said Mersey exporters were helping to drive recovery
Picture: JASON ROBERTS
DLIB ATTRACTS TOP SPEAKERS TO CITY EXCLUSIVE
By NEIL HODGSON Industry Reporter
THE CITY’S leading decision makers will be out in force later this month to discuss how businesses can drive growth and attract inward investment into Liverpool. Liverpool Business Week, a five-day event organised by business lobby group Downtown Liverpool in Business (DLIB) and Liverpool Vision, gets underway on Monday, June 20. The event will see business leaders address many key issues over the five-day period including Liverpool
Entrepreneurs gather for 5 day Business Week
City Council’s plans for economic development, the challenges facing women in business and the city’s ability to create an entrepreneurial culture. Speakers at each of the events include American entrepreneur and policy chief at the Kauffman
Foundation Jonathan Ortmans, city council leader Joe Anderson, property tycoon and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club owner Steve Morgan, Wavertree MP Luciana Berger and tea shop owner Natalie Hayward. One of the events being featured is ‘The leading of Liverpool: One year on’ In which DLIB chairman Frank McKenna interviews Cllr Anderson who will discuss the leadership peaks and troughs over the past 12 months. “The week will focus on some of the key challenges that are facing the city and its business community,” said Mr McKenna. “Our speakers are some of the most seasoned entrepreneurs who have a depth of knowledge and an ability to
provide valuable business insight to our delegates.”. Max Steinburg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision added: “We are delighted to be involved with Business Week. It will, undoubtedly, create an environment of discussion and debate that will be carried foreward to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress that takes place in the city next year. “I am particularly pleased that Jonathan Ortmans will be contributing to the week. He launched his first business when he was just 19. He is a serial entrepreneur, a successful one at that and is a senior policy adviser in the US. I am confident his insights will stimulate and encourage the Liverpool buisness community.”
CONSTRUCTION group Morgan Sindall has appointed Dave Smith as its new north west managing director, covering Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. He takes over from Danny Murray who now assumes the role of managing director for all the company’s construction projects in the north. Morgan Sindall’s Liverpool office is currently working on £270m of projects.
A PAIR of Bootle ● pub landlords have been rewarded for their
dedication to the community with the Community Engagement prize at the Best Bar None awards which recognise the best run pubs in the UK. Karen and Robbie Maher took control of The Albion Hotel in Bootle five years ago.
FITOUT, housing and maintenance company Morris & Spottiswood has added Richard Crosby, Tony Fall and Kerry Whittle to its Warrington office.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
BUSINESS NI SUPPORT WOULD ADD MORE JOBS SAYS FSB
SMALL firms would employ more staff if the government cut National Insurance Contributions (NICs), new figures from lobby group the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claim. Despite tentative economic growth many small firms say they are still constrained by the effects of the recent downturn. And while FSB members said they support government plans to cut the deficit, policies such as cutting NICs have to be at the heart of plans for growth. The FSB’s Voice of Small Business survey showed that insufficient work and uncertainty over contracts (37%), the state of the economy (33%), cash-flow (31%) and access to finance as well as the cost of credit (16%) are preventing them from employing. Nearly a third (31%) of respondents said that reducing NICs payments for the first six months of employment would encourage them to take on more staff. Neil Dutton, regional FSB development manager, said: “It is not only imperative that the government creates an environment for job creation, but that the banks lend to small firms, and businesses are paid on time, to give small firms the confidence they need to grow and employ.”
LEAD CREATORS IN CITY MOVE
MARKET development company Lead Creators has moved to offices at Liverpool Science Park to facilitate its growth plans. The firm is relocating its nine staff from Exchange Flags, in Liverpool city centre. It says staff numbers are projected to grow by 200% by the end of the year. Lead Creators helps its clients identify sales opportunities and new markets for it clients and is taking 1,300 sq ft at the science park.
BUSINESS of the Week
UST over a decade ago Anders Borg was being shown Calderstones Park in south Liverpool in his quest to find a venue for a new tennis tournament. “We can’t hold it here,” he told his city council hosts. “The whole park is on a slope.” However, he persevered and a small section of the park was identified as being suitable. It was duly flattened to create a centre court fit for the world’s best players. And so in the summer of 2002, the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament was born, an event that has become a jewel in the crown of the city’s social and sporting calendar. Anders, a Norwegian who was then a currency derivatives trader in the City of London, set up Northern Vision to manage the event. Now the city centre-based company works all year round to organise the tournament which this year takes place on June 16-19. It also now stages annual tournaments in Manchester, Nottingham and Marbella. The four day tournament features both current world-ranked players and legends who this year include former Wimbledon champions Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Greg Rusedski. “I could never have imagined 10 years ago that the tournament would become this big – it is almost unbelievable,” said Anders. “I was making a good living in my job but I wanted to get more satisfaction and had always wanted to get involved in sport. “We were looking at sites all around England and when we came to Calderstones we saw what a beautiful park it was. “People said to me ‘you must be crazy – Liverpool is not a tennis city’, but I knew this would be the perfect place. The city council was right behind us from day one. The leader at the time was Mike Storey and since then we have dealt with Warren Bradley and now Joe Anderson. “They have all put politics aside to give us their full support.” Northern Vision’s four-strong team has to find well over £750,0000 every year to stage the event, mainly through sponsorship, and also through tickets sales and hospitality. Around 20 local firms and organisations are already providing support and sponsorship including law firm Brabners Chaffe Street, the Hilton Hotel and King Sturge. Latest to sign up is car maker Saab through the local Lookers dealership.
Norwegian who is bringing tennis to city masses Tony McDonough talks to Anders Borg, director of Northern Vision Anders said: “The motor industry is one of the biggest supporters of tennis around the world so it was really good to get Saab involved. “As soon as the tournament is finished each year the team is looking for sponsorship for the next year. “That is the best time to start because it is still fresh in peoples’ minds. It is becoming more difficult at the moment because of the economic climate and the Government cuts. “In the weeks leading up to the
event the team is working flat-out – there are no bank holidays. “During the event itself we will employ more than 150 people.” Anders’ own family home is in Norway where he lives with wife Jeanine and children, Alexandra, 13 and Felix, 10. He gave up his City job 18 months ago and now works full time for Northern Vision. “I have to spend a lot of time away from them as the tournament approaches – too much time, my wife
says,” he joked. “But I try to bring them over for the tournament – both my kids now play the game and I am turning into a pushy tennis parent.” Anders says the Liverpool tournament differs significantly from the Manchester, Nottingham and Marbella events. He added: “They take place within established tennis clubs but in Liverpool we build a tennis village in a public park – that makes it unique. It is one of the biggest exhibition events in Europe. “What we set out to do with the tournament was to take away the snobbish element and make it open to everyone and I think we have succeeded in that. “Lots of ordinary people love tennis but for many being able to afford to go to Wimbledon is almost impossible. Here, people can watch top players all
Chamber’s plea for support on HS2 consultation LIVERPOOL Chamber of Commerce is urging business owners to back the government’s High Speed Rail (HS2) consultation. Head of policy and information Maresa Molloy said: “There is a large, motivated campaign in the south east of England against this project, tens of thousands
of signatures have been added to a petition to halt the project. “It is really important that businesses from all sectors in the north west stand up and support high speed rail. “This is a major infrastructure that will link the north of England to London and then on to the
international high speed rail network.” Chief executive Jack Stopforth added: “The Chamber has long supported HS2 and lobbied for the programme to venture north as early as possible. “It is vital that as many businesses as possible, in all sectors, make their voices
heard in support of the project. “This is a programme of national importance – not merely of regional significance – as the rebalancing of the economy can only be achieved with an even-handed approach to public infrastructure investment in the longer term.
“The business case for the scheme is irrefutable: each pound spent will generate £2.60 in benefits and it is estimated that the first phase alone will create up to 40,000 new jobs.” There are 51 days left to register your views by visiting http://highspeedrail.dft.gov. uk/
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
NSG UK APPOINTS MANAGER
SCAFFOLDING and industrial services firm NSG UK has announced the appointment of Tim Walker as general manager. Mr Walker has been with the company for 11 years, joining from Nottingham Trent University after gaining a BSc Honours degree and a post graduate certificate in Management. In his new role as general manager, he will work with managing director Mike Carr to oversee the running of Deeside-based NSG and support the strategic direction of the business. “Tim has worked his way up to become an integral part of our continued growth,” said Mr Carr “He has excellent project management skills.” NSG UK is a provider of scaffolding, painting, blasting, thermal insulation and building repairs.
NET GAIN: Anders, left, with tennis star Barry Cowan and local youngsters Mark Harrop and Anthony Hardman in Liverpool last week
Do you want to be our Business of the Week? Contact Neil Hodgson 0151 472 2451 or email neil.hodgson @liverpool.com
day from just £9 – that is great value.” Taking tennis to the masses is a theme Anders is passionate about and immediately after this year’s tournament Northern Vision will launch a tennis academy in Liverpool. Youngsters involved will be able to access hours of coaching at the David Lloyd sports centre in Speke. Anders said: “Since the tournament started we have worked with local schools to introduce more than 50,000 children to tennis. “But after the tournament finished there has been nowhere for most of them to follow up that interest and that is what the academy idea is all about. In a few years time we want Liverpool to be producing top tennis players.” Anders said that bringing the big stars to Liverpool has become much easier as the reputation of the tournament has grown. He added: “The players have come to love the atmosphere of the event. “The tennis circuit is very competitive and they can find it quite lonely. Here, we try to build a team spirit between them. “On one of the nights of the tournament we will sit them all down for dinner at the Hilton where they are really looked after. “My dream is to set up a match in Liverpool between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg – I would really love to make that happen.”
TOP TALENT: Martina Navratilova on a previous Liverpool visit
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
BIG Former bookie’s I runner who has hit the big time INTERVIEW Tony McDonough talks to Fred Done, the founder and chief executive of gaming empire Betfred
F YOU pardon the cliche, Betfred could accurately be described as the dark horse of the UK betting shop sector. While the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral have been household names for many years, a outsider has been quietly coming up on the rails. Fred Done and his brother Peter opened their first betting shop in Salford in 1967. In the years leading up to that the young Fred had worked as a bookie’s runner in his dad’s illegal betting operation. The Warrington-based firm now operates more than 800 high street bookmakers across the UK and now takes around £4bn in bets every year. Now Betfred is stepping up onto an even higher level after it won a bidding war to acquire the Government-owned Tote in a deal worth £265m. It beat off competition from a consortium led by British Airways chairman and former Liverpool FC chairman Sir Martin Broughton to land the on-course and betting shop chain. The announcement at the end of last week was a proud moment for Fred Done who said buying the Tote satisfied a long-held ambition. “Buying the Tote has been an ambition for years, so I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “The Tote is an opportunity I just could not miss. I love racing and I believe we have the greatest in the world. “Over the coming months I will develop the Tote’s relationship with the sport into a highly successful commercial partnership.” That relationship could initially prove to be strained. Betfred apparently wasn’t the industry’s first choice. Some racecourse owners are said to be unhappy at allowing a private owner of the Tote automatic access to their facilities, though Betfred has committed to the establishment of Tote Racing Development Board. Fred himself acknowledges concerns of the industry but he insisted that in the hours following the announcement, a lot of goodwill started to flow in his direction. He said: “Yes, it is fair to say we were not everyone’s first choice but since the announcement was made I have had a load of texts and calls from people in the industry saying ‘ok, now let’s work together’.” There are not many business people who would admit to starting their careers on the wrong side of the law but racing and gambling loves its characters and Fred’s illicit early days adds to the romance of the rags to riches story. Prior to 1961, off-course betting was illegal in the UK but the
BONUS KING: Fred Done has now added the Tote to his portfolio
working man’s love of a flutter on the horses spawned a network of back street bookmakers. One such entrepreneur was Fred’s father. He said: “I was born and brought up in Salford and during the school holidays I used to work for my dad who was an illegal bookmaker. “I was what’s known as a bookie’s runner and I would go to shops and factories and take peoples’ bets and take them back to my dad. “My main ambition as a teenager
was to play for Manchester United but that was never going to happen. “However, the ambition to run my own business grew within me and I have worked and worked to make this business successful. “There have been some tough days over the years but there has never been a day when I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.” The second Done Bookmakers shop was opened in Salford in 1969 and the chain steadily grew until by 1997, it had expanded to more than
‘There has never been a day when I didn’t enjoy it’
100 outlets. It was credited in 1984 with the invention of the Lucky 15 bet, now a favourite with punters across the country. Fred also made headlines in 1998 when he took the decision to pay out early on Manchester United winning the Premier League, only to see Arsenal pip them to the title. Despite the £500,000 cost to the firm, it turned into a brilliant PR coup significantly raising it and Done’s profile. In January 1999 the company expanded with the acquisition of 40 outlets from Demmy Racing Group. The Betfred telephone betting service was started in 2002 and in 2004 the company relocated its headquarters to Warrington. This was shortly followed by the launch of Betfred.com.
Wigan-based Tote has 517 shops, an online business and an on-course pool betting business which operates at all UK racetracks and was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1928. It employs more than 4,000 people and last year injected around half its profits back into the industry. Taking on the Tote shops, which are to rebranded, will make Betfred a major player in the UK bookmaking industry. The deal will increase the size of its estate to more than 1,350 shops and make it a “fourth force” in the bookmaking industry behind Gala Coral, William Hill and Ladbrokes. Mr Done, who is 68 and is Betfred’s executive chairman, said buying the Tote had been an ambition of his for many years and
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
SPORT OF KINGS: Racing will continue to receive millions of pounds from the Tote
an opportunity he could not miss. In an apparent battle between old and new money in the closely knit racing world, it is thought Warrington-based Betfred got the nod from ministers because its offer was less likely to breach state aid rules. Betfred also claimed its deal was worth £45m to racing. Done added: “The good thing is that the Tote has gone to a bookmaker who knows what punters love. “We will have integrated the two businesses by January 2012. “Combined they employ around 9,000 people and we are going to push that above 10,000 – that is a promise. “This has been an incredible day for me and the family.”
GROWTH: Betfred currently operates more than 800 bookmakers in towns and cities across the UK
MPLOYERS generally demonstrate reticence when recruiting people with mental health problems. Apparently, pilot schemes run in conjunction with the mental health charity, Mind, have achieved 90% success in helping people with fluctuating mental health conditions retain their jobs. Regrettably, despite the prevalence of mental health conditions in the UK today, there is a huge ignorance about mental illness in general and the effect of mental illness on individuals in particular. This leads to those suffering from such conditions being stigmatised. It also leads to sufferers being discriminated against, not only generally but also in the workplace. Stigma and discrimination can prolong a sufferer’s condition in that they became less likely to seek help, which in turn delays treatment and leads to isolation, and therefore is a spiralling down of their condition, so that recovery takes longer. This also prevents sufferers from getting jobs. Severe mental illness in England, according to another mental health charity, Rethink, costs over £77bn a year, when the costs of mental healthcare, loss of earnings and a poor quality life are combined. This is a monumental problem, which charities such as Mind and Rethink are attempting to combat. Of particular interest to employers is the fact that severe mental illness amounts to a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010. This Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people with a disability and, indeed, there still exists widespread discrimination of people with disabilities.
The Act defines that a person with a disability is when he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities. The trouble with mental impairment is that there is no obvious sign of it. When considering the effects of a disability, you have to take into account that person’s condition on the basis that they are not taking any medication for the condition in question. Employers should, therefore, take extra care in considering an application for employment from someone who discloses that he or she is suffering from a mental condition or has suffered from a mental condition. To ignore such an application, or to refuse to employ without an objective consideration of the position and that person’s suitability for it, can amount to discrimination, which will lead to a claim whether or not the person is employed. Consequently, a prospective employer should interview all suitable applicants for a job, regardless of any condition or disability they may have disclosed in the application form. Having done so, they can then come to an objective decision on the suitability of employment. Not to employ on a subjective view that someone suffering, for example, a mental condition would not be a suitable person to employ is discriminatory. This column was brought to you by employment law specialist ELAS, Employment Law Advisory Services. For more information call the ELAS advice team on 0161-785 2000 or send an email to email@example.com
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Alex Turner visits two companies roasting coffee in Merseyside
FOCUS F . . . on coffee
RANK EATON is clear what sets his coffee apart from some of his competitors. “What we roast this week will be sold this week, that’s the key to a fresh coffee,” he said. He has run Adams & Russell for 14 years with his business partner, and coffee roaster, Graham Duke, while the company has been roasting coffee since 1978. “It’s quite an art because we are small and everything is made in small batches,” said Frank. “The freshness is the key, that’s our advantage.” Fresh coffee is key to getting a crema – the thin layer of froth – on the top of an espresso, the hallmark of a good quality, well-made coffee. The company supplies independent coffee shops across the region, as well as museums and cathedrals. It is also developing its its direct sales online and has a relentless events programme that sees it exhibit across the North West and North Wales most weekends. Adams & Russell – in common with coffee roasters everywhere – is feeling the effects of the soaring price of coffee on the world markets, which has seen the cost for the raw, green coffee beans double in the last year. “Our margins have been hit but we are riding it out and buying when there are dips,” said Frank. “Because we are small we have got a bit of flexibility and dip in to the market when the price drops. A really big company can’t do that as they have to have the coffee stock.” He pointed out that the effect on the price of a cup of coffee on the high street isn’t really affected by the spike, because the ground coffee makes up a small element of the cost. “Each shot of coffee is seven grammes, so there are 140 shots of coffee in a 1kg bag. Each shot works out at 7-8p,” he said. “It’s very profitable to sell a cappucino for £2.50 – your coffee is 7p, your milk is 7p, you can make £2 a cup but it’s no good selling 50 cups a day. “But because they are small value items, they have got to sell a hell of a lot of coffee so although their margins on each cup are quite high, net margins aren’t because of the retailer’s overheads.” “That’s the big problem. People don’t realise how much business
FRESH CUP: Frank Eaton, flanked by Lesley Fletcher and Trish Norcott, of Wirral coffee roasters Adams & Russell serve up a pot of java at last year’s Wirral Food & Drink Festival you have to do to cover rents, while the investment in terms of coffee machines is a lot – you can pay up to £10,000.” John Pye, who founded Bootle coffee roasters Joe Black Coffee and Tea in 2008, is also surprised at the way coffee shops are continuing to open, despite the strong competition and the poor economic climate. He said: “It was like an explosion. Anyone and everybody was opening coffee shops, it’s slowed down a little but there’s still lots of people opening coffee shops. “We would wonder a) is there that much of a demand, and b) have they really thought it through. “There are some you can see it just isn’t going to work, for example from the choice of location. “The coffee shop businesses are opening and closing. We give people a really good service and ask us about blends and we do put a lot of effort in helping them to get going. “When they first open they are coming back to you all the time. We try our best to give them the best service we can.”
That recently resulted in some reflected glory for the firm. It supplies A Great Little Place which was named best coffee shop at the Southport Food and Drink Festival last month. As well as coffee shops, Joe Black supplies restaurants, hotels, schools and offices – including Rothschilds bank in Manchester. He has had to respond to the high price of coffee, which reached a 34-year high last month. “When they go up and down a little we just leave the prices, but when they go up a lot we have to raise prices,” he said. “The price has not really gone down in the last 12 months. It’s just gone up and up.” Coffee trading firm Schluter mainly imports African green coffee into the UK – “from the farmer to the roaster”, explained Phil Schluter is part of the sixth generation of the family firm which was founded in 1858. From his office in Speke, he has seen the price at which coffee is traded on the world markets rise from 140 cents for a pound of coffee
a year ago to a peak of 310 cents last month. Even with a slight correction, it is still trading at more than 260 cents. While Phil doesn’t expect the current high levels to become the base level, he does think it will result in a permanent readjustment. “We are coming out of a 10-year period of low coffee prices,” he said. “The feeling is that the prices we have lived with were too low but the current prices are too high. “The current spike is unsustainable. The new base will be about 150-160 cents, up from 100-120 cents.” One factor that would help bring prices down is an increase in supply of good-quality coffee. But it takes around three years to produce crop, which means that any relief will not come quickly. For example Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, is expected to see yields increase – but not until the 2012/13 harvest. Until then, roasters and consumers may have to get used to higher prices.
From bean to shelves PHIL SCHLUTER, of Speke coffee traders Schluter, explained that the effects of the price rises are seen on the supermarket shelves and in the farmers’ pockets. “At 140 cents a pound, where we started at, it works out at 1.6p a cup,” he said. “The high was 310 cents a pound, which is about 3.5p a cup. But the cost of serving a cup of coffee is about 90% of the price. “When we work out the price of coffee on a supermarket shelf, buying the green coffee [before it is roasted and packed] has gone from 57p for each bag on the shelf to £1.25.” He is confident that the
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE IF YOU were to identify a single, unifying thread that runs through social entrepreneurs, you could safely claim that this thread was the desire to help others. There are hundreds of social enterprises across Merseyside driven by dedicated, committed individuals who are trying to make a difference to local people.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Paul Brown established HOME by MerseySTRIDE following his own experiences and the realisation that he could do something to solve social problems. In 1988, Paul was made redundant. This led to marriage breakdown and divorce. Then he was the last to escape the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. Paul’s life fell apart
with Jo McGrath of Blackburne House
and he was unemployed for four years. During that time he met people who were homeless. He said: “I thought there was no one worse off than me, but these people were actually living, and sleeping, on the streets.” Working out of a former supermarket on Great Homer Street, HOME by MerseySTRIDE is a furniture social enterprise,
set up to create jobs, personal development and move-on opportunities for people who are long term unemployed, especially those who’ve had other life affecting issues, but it also builds and repairs high-quality furniture and recycles white goods and IT equipment. MerseySTRIDE have been able to bring about huge changes throughout Liverpool.
InTERnATIOnAL TRADE As A gATEwAy TO gROwTh By LEIgh TAyLOR Area Director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in the North West
COFFEE ROASTER: John Pye and roaster Jamie Taylor at Joe Black Coffee and Tea in Bootle
farmers are benefiting from the large price rises. “Farmer prices have doubled,” he said. “Most farmers received about 70 cents out of 120. Today it’s 150 out of 266 cents. “It’s good for farmers. The
farmers we deal with are better off because they are subsistence farmers, they grow their own food. “The only cash in their economy is spent on things like schooling, and that has not increased in price.”
Manufacturing in the North West was worth an estimated £20 billion and employed 400,000 people in 2010, which makes our region the biggest contributor to this sector in the UK. For many manufacturers in our region, exporting may provide excellent expansion opportunities with an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s growth in the next few years expected to come from emerging markets. The North West Lloyds team Commercial TSB understands that with so many demands on your time as a business owner, investigating opportunities for exporting growth can often be easier said than done. Our relationship management team in the North West can help you navigate international payments, from processing foreign currency transactions to more sophisticated payment mechanisms such as letters of credit or bonds and guarantees. They can also introduce you to locally-based international business managers, who specialise in exporting and can take you through international trading challenges. Having various finance options available is particularly important when you need to manage your cashflow and bridge gaps between issuing invoices and receiving payment. We offer a range of invoice financing facilities*, overdrafts and term loans to help you make the most of exporting opportunities. We worked with our Morecambe-based customer
Left to right: Ian hughes (Lloyds TsB Commercial Relationship Manager) with Michelle and Kristian holt of Printed space Printed Space, for example, which is now achieving great success overseas with a new flooring product after securing an Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) loan (see case study). Whether you’re a first time or established exporter, we can help ease the transition into international markets. To find out how the North West commercial team can help your business expand abroad, please contact me on 07860 309026 or Malcolm Woodall, international business manager on 07739 817 822. Further details can be found on www.lloydstsb. com/business. Any property given as security, which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or other debts secured on it. All lending is subject to a satisfactory credit assessment *To ﬁnd out about factoring or invoice discounting visit www. ltsbcf.co.uk Lloyds TSB Commercial is a trading name of Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc and serves customers with an annual turnover of up to £15m. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
hELPIng InTERnATIOnAL ExPAnsIOn Printed Space specialises in printing digital images onto canvasses, blinds and wall coverings and works with private and commercial clients. Owners Kristian and Michelle Holt started their business from their dining room in 2004, and having moved into new business premises in 2009 are now expanding through international trade. In January it introduced a new innovative product, Floorink, a printable vinyl cushion floor covering developed with flooring manufacturer Forbo. Kristian Holt said: “To help with the development and launch costs, we approached Lloyds TSB Commercial and they provided a £50,000 Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) loan. “This funding helped us first with the development
and then with the promotion of the product internationally and we have since sold Floorink to Universal Studios in Singapore. We are also currently working with resellers in Thailand, New Zealand and South Africa. “As a result of the international interest in the product, we are now looking to double our current workforce of 12 and more than double our turnover this year. “With our distribution partner Forbo we look forward to turning Floorink into an international brand. “We have been Lloyds TSB Commercial customers since we entered the industry and their support since day one, in particular for the new product launch, has proved invaluable in helping us achieve our ambitions.”
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Business to Business
MEDICASH IS IN STRONG HEALTH
Loans / Finance / Mortgage
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Industry Reporter HEALTHCARE cash plan provider Medicash was boosted by a record take-up of corporate plans as it enjoyed a solid year’s performance. The mutual, which was founded 140 years ago, said the take up of corporate plans was 20% better than its previous best. Client wins included law firm DWF, GMG Radio, Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool and Chess Telecom. Accounts just filed at
City mutual is ‘pleased’ with 2010 results Companies House showed premiums written fell £550,000 to £20.4m in 2010, which it blamed on “continuing pressure on household disposable income and redundancies”. It combated this by cutting operating costs by £870,000 through “strong cost control and a
reduction in legal fees”. Claims paid out fell fractionally, to £16.3m. Medicash’s chief executive Sue Weir said: “We are pleased with the results which have been achieved through a combination of product innovation, an increased focus on the corporate market and the commitment of all the staff. “We operate in a challenging healthcare market and are constantly researching and developing our products to respond to the changing demands of customers. “In a climate where pay rises
and expensive perks may well not be viable options, employers are under more pressure to find solutions around attracting, maintaining and rewarding quality people.” Pre-tax profits were halved, to £2.34m, but the fall was down to a much lower unrealised gain on investments, of £1.22m, although it did realise investments of £270,000. The lower profits were the result of the markets being less bullish – during 2009 the FTSE 100 gained 19% while last year it rose 9%. It also benefited from a £1.27m increase after a property revaluation.
City is chosen for first Simply Be store FASHION brand Simply Be has chosen Liverpool as the site for its first high street store. Parent company N Brown announced earlier this year that Simply Be, which sells fashionable clothes for plus-size women, was moving onto the high street for the first time.
The brand already generates annual sales of more than £100m through its website and catalogues. And Alan White, chief executive of the Manchester-based home shopping group, told LDP Business that the first Simply Be store was to be in Liverpool.
He said: “We hope to get a couple of stores open this side of Christmas. “We are hoping to conclude on one in the Liverpool One area. “That will be our first major store. We are also negotiating on a store on the north side of Manchester.
“We wanted to have our first stores in the North West because all our managers and distributors are in the North West, so we can give the stores a lot of close attention. “We want to open two or maybe three stores in September or October this year, then three or
four next spring. “Then we’ll evaluate it in 2012.” N Brown also owns brands such as Jacamo and Marisota. Mr White said the group had chosen to move the Simply Be brand onto the high street because it filled a gap in the fashion market.
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