Funding helps exporter Avanti move forward

High Peak-based Avanti Conveyors is broadening its manufacturing capabilities and planning expansion into new international markets after securing funding under HSBC’s Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme, part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) designed to support small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their business.

The Furness Vale company designs, manufactures and installs corrugated box conveyor systems.

The £100,000 equipment finance funding from HSBC Commercial Bank, in addition to a 20 per cent grant from the RGF, will enable the company to purchase equipment to bring the fabrication element of its manufacturing process in-house, creating two new jobs.

Avanti exports 80 per cent of the 200 conveyor units it produces a year to markets including Europe, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East, and clients include the likes of IKEA.

The cost savings it will achieve through the new fabrication facility will enable it to target Asia and further growth in the Middle East in the New Year, with the company planning to appoint agents in these territories in the first quarter of 2013.

Avanti is a family-owned business, established by current Managing Director Simon Mander’s father, Keith, in 1988. After a spell under American ownership, the company changed its name to Avanti in 1999 and began manufacturing its own units four years ago, taking advantage of the economic downturn to lower costs and improve quality and control.

The business now employs 25 full-time employees and 12 sub-contractors and plans to move to new purpose-built premises in the next three to four years to assist further growth.

Avanti has moved its full business banking to HSBC’s Derbyshire Commercial team in a deal led by Commercial Manager Seeta Parmar. Due to its international exposure and the fact that it gets paid in multiple currencies, Simon Mander was seeking a banking partner that could cater for the company’s complex finance requirements, but could also introduce contacts in international markets.

He said: “Having an individual on the ground in the countries we are currently trading with, and want to trade with, helps us greatly. It not only opens doors for our business, it also helps us avoid any potential pitfalls.”

He added: “This is an exciting time for Avanti; we saw the recession as an opportunity for us and bringing manufacturing in-house has brought many benefits. This next step will result in Avanti making more of the parts of our units ourselves, which will lower our costs and give us the room to target these new international markets.”

HSBC Derbyshire Commercial Manager Seeta Parmar added: “Avanti has been working hard to develop the business over the past few years and they are now one of the market leaders in this field, supplying customers around the world.

“Asia and the Middle East are big growth markets and should bring additional benefits to the company, and indeed the local economy.”