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2004 Export Awards Finalists Named

New Zealand Trade And Enterprise 2004 Export Awards Finalists Named

16 June 2004 - Twenty-three outstanding New Zealand exporters across a variety of sectors have been named today as finalists in the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise 2004 Export Awards.

The finalists, listed below, are competing for 2004 Export Awards in eight sector-based categories, with the winners to be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on Friday 23 July. One of the category winners will also be named New Zealand's Supreme Exporter of the Year.*

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise CEO Tim Gibson says the annual Export Awards, sponsored by DHL, recognise and celebrate the success of outstanding New Zealand exporters.

"If we are to secure our economic future and achieve the quality of life we aspire to, New Zealanders must continue to work smarter, add value, be innovative and develop world-class export businesses. The 2004 Export Award finalists prove this can be done!" he says.

"In addition to honouring these companies who are already achieving great things on the world stage, the Export Awards have a broader purpose - showcasing inspirational exporters both large and small and potentially helping to generate others in their league. We also hope the awards go some way to elevating our top exporters to the same status afforded to our famous sporting heroes," Mr Gibson says.

"NZTE wishes the finalists all the best for the future and looks forward to celebrating with them at the gala dinner next month when the 2004 Export Award winners will be announced."

DHL Express General Manager, Phil Rountree, passing on his congratulations to the finalists, says the Export Awards are the ideal platform to recognise international business success and to inspire ongoing innovation in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise 2004 Export Awards' finalists are:

Agritech, Life Sciences and Biotechnology

- Canterbury Scientific Ltd (Christchurch)

Canterbury Scientific Ltd has developed a world leading biological product and combined it with smart marketing to increase export sales by 300% in the past two years. The small company's key product is a biological control made from human blood that allows clinical technicians to check the performance of instruments used to test blood for diabetic control.

- Functional Nutraceuticals Ltd (Waikato)

Functional Nutraceuticals Ltd, a small entrepreneurial Morrinsville company, has successfully developed export markets for high value dietary supplements based on colostrum. It is now moving into food ingredients and recently launched a new skincare range. Growth this financial year is anticipated at 300%, driven largely by sales to mainland China.

- The New Image Group (Auckland)

The New Image Group, a health supplement exporter based in Manukau, exports to 15 countries in Asia and Europe. Sales have exploded by 400% in two years, driven by the success of its colostrum products. Turnover has grown from about $3 million in 2001 to more than $14m in 2003. New Image was formed in 1984 by former Wairarapa farmer Graeme Clegg.

Creative and Design

- Linden Leaves (Christchurch)

Linden Leaves has doubled export sales in the past three years selling its natural bath and bodycare products to seven markets and investing heavily in branding and product development to boost sales. The Christchurch company was started in the mid-1990s by CEO Brigit Blair in her garage and now exports 250 products, operating out of a new purpose-built factory and employing 20 staff.

- Outlook Baby Shade Ltd (Auckland)

Outlook Baby Shade is a small entrepreneurial business that designs and markets innovative, practical and lasting accessories for infants. The two directors developed their original Baby Shade pram cover out of concern for their own children's comfort and safety when travelling by pram in the sun. The North Shore-based business has since diversified and established export markets in Australia, UK and USA.

- Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd (Auckland)

Reed Publishing (NZ) achieved record foreign exchange earnings of $7.7 million in 2003, generated largely through the success of Sails Literacy, its leading-edge learning system for children. The 600-title system takes children from learning to read through to reading to learn. The company also achieved international success with Witi Ihimaera's book The Whale Rider, which it has sold into 19 countries.

Education

- Howick Intermediate School (Auckland)

Howick Intermediate School has implemented a market diversification strategy that has seen the Auckland intermediate school increase international student numbers to about 100, with record foreign exchange earnings in 2003 of almost $1 million. The school, which celebrates cultural diversity, focuses on Korea, China, Thailand, Japan and Korea.

- University of Canterbury (Christchurch)

The University of Canterbury's innovative mix of initiatives including degree programmes, foundation education, short courses and customised study abroad has helped boost its foreign exchange earnings to a record $26.4 million, up from $11.6 million in 2001. In 2003 it had 1630 students from 63 countries in degree programmes and 400 pre-degree students in foundation studies and English language programmes.

- Wellington High School (Wellington)

International students generated a record $1.7 million for Wellington High School in fees and accommodation in 2003. The school is a strategic exporter that's achieved gains economically, culturally and academically and even developed unique software it's now selling to other schools. International student numbers have grown steadily and now total about 80, with key markets being Japan, China, Brazil and Germany.

Food and Beverage

- Felton Road (Otago)

Felton Road, a small artisan Central Otago winery, is generating rave reviews from international wine writers and has fine wine importers the world over knocking at its door - but instead of pursuing significant growth its strategy is to cap production. Its goal is to make wines of groundbreaking quality which will command a worldwide reputation. Its major markets are the UK, USA and Australia.

- Palliser Estate Wines of Martinborough (Wairarapa)

When Queen Elizabeth II hosted a luncheon for the likes of Kate Moss, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Heather Mills McCartney recently a Sauvignon Blanc from Palliser Estate Wines of Martinborough was on the menu. It's that kind of clever exposure that has helped this small, profitable winery grow its annual turnover to $6 million - about 50% generated from exports. Smart marketing and quality wines are a hallmark of Palliser.

- Saint Clair Estate Wines (Marlborough)

After just 10 years in the wine business, former grape growers Neal and Judy Ibbotson have established Saint Clair Estate Wines as an award-winning wine company with a unique quality measurement system and $4.2 million in export sales in 2003. Last year was the company's best yet - Saint Clair Estate Wines boosted production to 100,000 cases, lifted export sales by 60% and won the coveted Silverado Trophy for the best Sauvignon Blanc at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London

Information and Communications Technology

- Argent Networks (Auckland)

Telecommunications software firm Argent Networks is winning multi-million dollar contracts in some of the world's hot spots, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia. The company is targeting emerging economies deregulating their telecommunications sector. Its current focus is the Middle East and Africa, where it has won $10 million worth of business in former war zones in the past few years.

- Endace Measurement Systems Ltd (Waikato)

Endace Measurement Systems has established itself as the world's leading supplier of computer network intelligence technology. Its prestigious client list includes national and global telecommunication carriers, government security/law enforcement services and corporate customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Endace, whose products ensure communications infrastructures are free from intrusion, viruses, spam-email and denial-of-service attacks, is forecasting sales of over $15 million in 2004.

- iTouch Business Mobility (Christchurch)

Years of investment and innovation are paying off for iTouch Business Mobility, a Christchurch company at the forefront of the wireless technology industry that has increased export earnings from $200,000 in 2001 to almost $6 million in 2003. iTouch, which specialises in developing mobile technology solutions for companies with staff working remotely, dominates the market in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

- Pulse Data International (Christchurch)

Pulse Data International, a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative technology products for the blind and visually impaired, has increased revenue threefold since 1998. The company is the leading provider of personal data assistants for the blind in the English speaking world and is among the top six suppliers in the world of low vision aids. Total revenue of almost $50 million is almost all from exports.

Niche Manufacturing

- Astrograss Allweather Surfaces (Auckland)

Astrograss Allweather Surfaces has pioneered the design and manufacture of all-weather grass surfaces for a wide range of sports and now exports its products to more than 20 countries. The company was founded by former New Zealand cricket international Graham Vivian who wanted to develop a surface that would allow optimum sports performance in any weather. The growth of the business has been driven by its success in China.

- Noske-Kaeser New Zealand Ltd (Manawatu)

Palmerston North's Noske-Kaeser has increased export earnings by 650% in the past three years to a record $21 million. It designs and markets customised air conditioning systems for the transport industry and special niche markets within the defence sector, such as systems for mobile radar units. The company has combined technology transferred from its German parent company with high quality, cost effective production in New Zealand to give it a competitive edge.

- Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd (Christchurch)

Sustained export-led growth underpinned by product and market diversification has seen the country's largest coal producer Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd achieve record production and foreign exchange earnings. The company produced a record 4.09 million tonnes in 2003, exporting over half of that to 12 countries, generating a record $180 million in foreign exchange and a net profit of $56 million.

Services

- CRMS Consulting Ltd (Auckland)

CRMS Consulting recorded 186% growth in 2003/04 helping big pharmaceutical companies improve their sales and profitability through more effective use of sales and marketing resources. Formed in 2000, CRMS Consulting is now the market leader in Australia and has successfully entered the Japanese market, taking a strategic approach to expansion in order to overcome barriers such as low brand awareness, a long and complex sales cycle and an increasing number of competitors.

- KURAN (NZ) Ltd (Christchurch)

Christchurch family business KURAN (NZ) Ltd has developed a profitable niche providing film location services to Indian film crews and is now planning a new tourism venture. KURAN has worked with more than 90 Indian film projects since it started business in 1995, including feature films out of "Bollywood", TV commercials, music videos and documentaries. Last year the company boosted foreign exchange earnings to almost $7 million, up from just $2.8 million in 2001.

- New Zealand Nature Co (Nelson)

The internet has given Nelson's New Zealand Nature Co a window to the world, with the business exploiting the technology to draw customers to its on-line "shop', exporting everything from sheepskin boots to possum fur nipple warmers to more than 70 countries. The company builds entire websites around various products' keywords, links all its sites together and points them to its shop. Maximising the online channel the business sells several thousand products.

Wood Processing, Building and Interiors

- Jenkin Timber (Auckland)

Jenkin Timber is a family business that has come a long way since it was established in 1922, achieving $21 million in exports last year and 20% year-on-year growth for the past three years. The West Auckland company is a leading innovator, manufacturer and exporter of value-added finger-jointed and solid wood radiata pine products to Australia, Japan and more recently the USA.

Editor's Note: One page profiles of each of the 2004 Export Awards' finalists are available at www.exportawards.co.nz

DHL is the major sponsor of the NZTE Export Awards and is holding cocktail receptions in Auckland and Christchurch on 8 July for the finalists.

*Several other awards will also be presented as part of the 2004 Export Awards gala dinner evening. These are Export New Zealand's Emerging Exporter of the Year Award and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology's Technology Commendations.

About NZTE

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Government's trade and economic development agency. Using its global network of staff NZTE works with businesses to help grow their capability, profitability and international competitiveness. We also develop relationships with the international business community, helping buyers and investors access New Zealand products, services and investment opportunities. www.nzte.govt.nz

About DHL

DHL is the global leader of the international Express, Freight and Logistics industries. In New Zealand, DHL is proud to support exporters delivering everything from express documents to heavy weight consignments to sea freight and provides a fast and economical alternative for international bulk mail. DHL delivers a real edge in competitive global markets for specific sectors including the innovative 'Wine Box' for New Zealand's wine industry, 'Garments on Hangers' for fashion retailers and the 'Express Pallet' for exporters shipping in bulk. www.dhl.co.nz


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