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Wellington’s Windsor Engineering Wins Export Award

Wellington, March 11, 2002 -- Windsor Engineering Ltd, a Wellington company that designs and manufactures cutting edge timber drying kilns and filtration equipment, has won a Trade New Zealand Export Award for more than doubling annual foreign exchange earnings to $7 million in the past two years.

(Media are invited to attend the presentation of Windsor’s Export Award by Trade New Zealand Chairman David Moloney, at 11am, Monday 11 March, 18 Cashew Street, Grenada North, Wellington. The Export Awards are sponsored by DHL Worldwide Express.)

Windsor Marketing Manager Keith Robertson says timber-drying kilns account for about 70% of Windsor’s overseas sales. Targeting countries that have softwood plantations similar to New Zealand pine, Windsor’s main export markets are Australia (54%), Chile, South Africa and South Korea.

Mr Robertson says Windsor’s superior engineering and manufacturing quality, combined with high-tech control systems, provides it with an edge over competitors from Italy, Germany and North America.

“Windsor products are leading edge technology - we have a strong engineering base and fund our own R&D department whose mission in life is to think of new innovations. We also work closely with organisations such as Forest Research.

“Windsor is also unique in that we are the only kiln manufacturer in the world that gets involved in the science of drying and wood technology, employing Wood Technicians to support our clients and products in service,” says Mr Robertson.

“For the end user, the quality of drying in a Windsor kiln is very, very good. We offer the best tool to ensure the best quality. We build the most robust kilns and ensure running costs and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.”

Exports currently account for about 30% of Windsor’s $21 million dollar annual turnover. Mr Robertson says Windsor is aiming to double annual turnover to $42 million in the next five years and increase exports to 50% of that figure.

He says the company will grow annual exports to more than $20 million by opening up new markets, particularly for its timber drying kilns. With a large increase in New Zealand log production over the coming years, Mr Robertson says Windsor will literally follow the logs when they are exported for processing offshore, targeting China, Korea and Indonesia in particular.

Export growth will also come from applying Windsor’s world beating technologies to areas outside the timber industry. Later this year it is planning to launch biosecurity equipment that will sanitise imported goods such as cars and furniture – this new product is already attracting considerable interest in New Zealand and offshore.

Windsor currently employs about 100 people in its Wellington and Rotorua plants. It also has an office in Australia and agents in Chile, Korea and South Africa who provide a local face in key export markets and client support.

“Windsor employs a broad range of people, from highly qualified engineers and designers to skilled tradespeople and apprentices, in a friendly and cooperative environment,” says Mr Robertson.

He says the company will manage its ambitious growth plans through an increase in staff and through the big gains in productivity it’s achieved over the past 2-3 years.

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Michelle Cole congratulated Windsor on its Export Award, saying its commitment to R & D and continuous improvement were key factors in its international success.

“Windsor is successful against tough international competition because its products offer excellent value for money due to superior engineering, performance and after sales support. Its equipment, particularly the timber drying kilns, provide its clients with a return on investment in the form of improved quality and increased production.

“The company’s outlook is very exciting, with the potential for huge export growth to China and North America.”

Windsor Engineering was formed 25 years ago by its current Chairman Bill Studd. Until a year ago the shareholding was distributed between six of the most senior staff, but this was expanded to 11 last year as part of a career development programme.

Keith Robertson says Windsor is a tight knit organisation with many dedicated and long serving staff. In addition to its considerable in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise, it also draws on an “excellent” pool of contract labour in the Wellington area.

For more information please contact:

Keith Robertson, Windsor Engineering Marketing Manager, ph 04 232 8080, keith.robertson@windsor.co.nz, www.windsor.co.nz

Michelle Cole, Trade New Zealand Account Manager, ph 04 499 2244, email michelle.cole@tradenz.govt.nz, www.tradenz.govt.nz


Distributed by Aimee McClinchy, Trade New Zealand Communications, ph 09 915 5628, Email aimee.mcclinchy@tradenz.govt.nz

Electronic photos are available on request to John Griggs, Windsor Engineering, phone 04 232 8080, email john.griggs@windsor.co.nz

About the Trade New Zealand Export Awards:
The Trade New Zealand Export Awards, sponsored by DHL Worldwide Express, recognise outstanding achievement and growth by New Zealand exporters in international markets. Winners become contenders for the Supreme Exporter of the Year Award, announced at the annual dinner in May 2002.

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