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A Derbyshire pottery maker has secured a £7m finance facility with Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance to fuel its rapid international expansion.

Denby Pottery, which has been in business since the early 19th century, has boosted its overseas turnover by 300 per cent recently and is now eyeing new markets in Russia and India.

The pottery company makes stoneware items which are sold in major UK retail stores such as Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser, as well as through its own website.

It now plans to increase its presence in new international markets, expanding out from its current EU base. The business has begun a targeted acquisition strategy to enrich its products in line with this strategy.

Robert Barton, financial director at Denby, said: "Like many sectors, the pottery industry was impacted by the recession, and as a business we quickly identified that enhancing our product line and trading with wider overseas markets was key to developing The Denby Pottery Company.

"The three acquisitions completed in recent years have successfully opened the door to a new mix of customers, with international demand for traditional English pottery helping us to generate significant sales growth."

In 2009, Hilco UK invested in Denby and the company has since purchased heritage brands Burleigh, Poole Pottery and Hartley Greens.

The business has also increased sales by 30 per cent in North America and has secured additional contracts to ship its products to retailers in Russia and India by the end of the year.

Chris Emmott, investment director at Hilco, said: "Throughout our investment with The Denby Pottery Company we have supported the business in its acquisition strategy, which has seen the business grow from strength to strength whilst also providing hundreds of local jobs.

"The firm's growing online presence and commitment to expanding its product line shows its clear understanding of, and ability to respond to, industry and consumer trends."

Denby employs 785 staff and over the past three years its annual turnover has grown from £30m to £45m.

Pic: (Left to right) Adrian Mason of Lloyds and Robert Barton of Denby


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