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Navman NZ Ltd – Supreme Exporter Of The Year

- Motivated By The Thrill Of Exporting

Auckland, 10PM May 15 –- New Zealand’s Supreme Exporter of the Year is Navman NZ Ltd, a specialist in marine and land-based navigation products that expects to grow annual exports from $30 million to more than $70 million in the next 12 months.

The Trade New Zealand Export Awards were presented in a finale ceremony in Auckland on May 15. The Export Awards are sponsored by DHL Worldwide Express. Navman, who beat 24 other finalists to become the country’s top exporter for 2002, also won the Manufacturing Exporter of the Year award.

The judges said Navman was a dynamic company whose use of technology and innovation plus excellent business processes enabled it to compete in world markets.

“A key success factor for Navman is its ability to commercialise product ideas. The company has a remarkable ability to be flexible and responsive to new opportunities.”

President Peter Maire – one of the founders of Navman - says he is motivated by the thrill of exporting, not the money. “It’s the buzz of exporting, it’s a drug. The bigger the market, the bigger the customer, the bigger the deal, the more fun you get out of it. Creating product solutions that technology giants around the world look at and go ’wow’. That’s what drives the Navman team.”

Navman, an Auckland-based company, launched its own brand in 1995, embarking on a worldwide strategy to grow its business. Peter Maire says the move was hugely successful, with export growth increasing ten fold in the past four years to $30 million and expected to exceed $70 million in the next 12 months.

Mr Maire says Navman’s surge in export sales is also the result of the company expanding from marine electronics – fishfinders, chartplotters, instrument series – into consumer-based land navigation and fleet tracking navigation products.

Export Awards were also presented across six other sector categories, with the judges commenting on the exceptional quality of the winners.

“The winners represent a growing maturity of New Zealand exporters, a growing competence and increasing confidence that we can succeed internationally in a range of new areas.”

Southland’s Rayonier MDF New Zealand is the Building & Wood Products Exporter of the Year. An effective marketing strategy underpinned by a culture of innovation saw Rayonier grow annual exports from zero to $80 million in five years, despite extremely challenging circumstances. Rayonier manufactures and exports medium density fibreboard (MDF) made from New Zealand radiata pine for use in furniture and building materials.

Aspect International Language Academies NZ is the Education Exporter of the Year. Aspect ILA provided English language training and teacher training to almost 3000 students from 35 countries in its Christchurch and Auckland schools in 2001, generating almost $7 million in foreign exchange, a significant increase over two years.

The Engineering Exporter of the Year is Glidepath. The Auckland exporter is recognised internationally for its state of the art airport baggage handling systems, earning approximately $40 million in foreign exchange in 2001. The company’s growth has been generated by a change in focus over the past four years, expanding beyond Asia-Pacific and adopting a global sales and marketing strategy. It’s also moved its branding from a traditional mechanical supplier to a high-tech, valued added approach.

The Food & Beverage Exporter of the Year is Frucor Beverages, an Auckland-based company that manufactures and markets branded cold beverages, including the phenomenal success story ‘V’. Frucor increased annual foreign exchange earnings from almost zero to $56 million in just a couple of years of exporting. Frucor also produces other well-known brands Fresh Up, Just Juice, Mizone Sportsdrink and G-force.

Opus International Consultants, one of New Zealand’s largest multi-disciplinarian consultancies, is the Services Exporter of the Year. Opus, which has its head office in Wellington, boosted annual foreign exchange earnings from $9.5 million in 1999 to $28.8 million in 2001. The big jump in exports was largely the result of Opus winning several long-term road asset management contracts in the UK, Australia and Malaysia.

The Technology & Communications Exporter of the Year is Tacit Group Ltd, a company that started life as an actuarial consultancy, successfully diversifying into software for insurance and financial companies when it saw a gap in the market. With New Zealand offices in Auckland and Wellington, Tacit Group has grown annual foreign exchange earnings to more than $12 million in the four years since it started exporting.


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