In recognition of its outstanding export achievement over the past six years, and as it prepares to mark its 15th anniversary, Oldmeldrum-based Flowline Specialists has received a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
The Aberdeenshire energy industry equipment manufacturer and service provider is one of a handful of Scottish companies to be awarded the accolade in 2016, and on what is Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. A Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the highest official UK business award and is conferred by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister following consultation with an advisory committee composed of business leaders.
Established in 2001, Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufactures a range of equipment that safely handles flexible pipes, umbilicals and cables in the global oil and gas, subsea and renewable industries. Seven years ago the firm began a concerted push to grow its international business, having previously focused its efforts on the UK oil and gas market.
This international focus has seen the north-east firm’s overseas sales grow by 2,600% from £128,400 in the year ending 31 March 2010 to £3.4m in the year to end 31 March 2015. In the same period, turnover grew by 640% to £6.36m, with overseas sales representing 55% of turnover, while UK staff numbers rose from eight to 55.
CEO Jim Smith has been instrumental in driving the business forward over the past seven years. His vision to diversify the business into the subsea and renewable sectors and target projects internationally has contributed to the outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales that has led to Flowline Specialist being conferred with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
To aid export growth Flowline Specialists established a number of operational bases overseas. Alongside its Oldmeldrum headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Fyvie, the firm has bases in Norway, The Netherlands, Singapore and Dubai – which opened in September 2015. These overseas bases allow the firm to better serve its international markets.
Jim Smith said: “I am extremely proud and honoured that Flowline Specialists has secured a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. It acknowledges the hard work, dedication and focus that every employee has shown in helping to drive the business forward internationally. Being granted this Queen’s Award is a huge honour in this our 15th anniversary year.
“We have achieved remarkable growth over the last six years, particularly overseas where we have now worked in over 20 countries in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and most recently North America. The investments we have made in increasing and expanding our equipment range have been crucial to this growth, as has the high standard of service we have continually strived to deliver to our clients.
“When I joined Flowline Specialists I identified that it had to diversify into other markets and reduce its reliance on the oil and gas sector, and exporting was a natural step. Exports remain crucial to our business going forward. The Queen’s Awards provide the highest level of recognition from industry leaders of the successful export strategy we have adopted. Our focus will be to continue to increase and consolidate our overseas exposure”