iPhone growth helps Peterlee manufacturer to double win

The rapid growth in sales of high tech devices such as the iPhone has helped a Peterlee manufacturer win a major new contract in the satellite telecoms sector.

Berger Closures, which makes specialist fastenings, won the new order after mobile phone users across Europe and Asia have switched in their droves to smartphones such as Apple’s flagship product.

The deal is one of two significant new contracts, worth more than £400,000, for Berger which is celebrating its 21st anniversary in business in the North East of England. The company has also won a contract with Scandinavian packaging company, Emballator, to supply its plant in Yorkshire.

Berger Closures is part of the Berger Group, which has bases across Germany, France, Holland, Slovakia and Spain. It is Europe’s leading manufacturer of specialist clamping rings, used primarily for industrial packaging such as oil barrels and ducting and filter systems.

Richard Swart, managing director of Berger Group Europe, said: “We have had to diversify to seek growth. I am delighted to confirm one of these contracts involves supplying key components to the satellite telecommunications sector. Demand for our products is fuelled by the increasing popularity of the iPhone and other smartphones across Europe and Asia, and we have now started new exports to these regions and expect to go further afield.

“The contracts have brought significant investment, and we expect more will follow. They will help us to safeguard existing jobs and possibly create another six.

“We are now very optimistic for the next two years and these will help lift the doom and gloom of 2009 – though we are not out of the woods yet.”

As well as being the 21st anniversary of Berger Closure’s creation in Peterlee, the wider Berger Group is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The company this month re-launched its website – www.bergergroupeurope.com – to give clients and prospective customers a clearer insight into the range of products and skills on offer.

The deal with the satellite parts manufacturer, who cannot be named for contractual reasons, has been a challenge to Berger. Mr Swart said: “This satellite work has forced us to raise our game and it has been a real tribute to our management, production and design team in Peterlee. It is the result of twelve months’ hard work, negotiation and partnering with our client, a leading global manufacturer.”

Companies benefitting from Berger’s work so far have included international firms such as Sony Ericsson and NEC.

Over the years, Berger has received support and assistance from the County Durham Development Company, the business support arm of Durham County Council.

Greg Johnson, CDDC’s business team manager, said: “Berger’s willingness to diversify and invest is a great example of the adaptability businesses need to demonstrate in order to develop new products and capture new markets.”

James Ramsbotham, chief executive at the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), also expressed his support for Berger’s achievements.

He said: “This company has worked tirelessly and successfully to innovate and seek out new markets.  They are a model for so many other businesses based here in the North East.”

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