15 June 2006

Spectrum Technologies notches up Queen’s Award hat trick

Spectrum Technologies is again a recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. The award has been made following the Company’s success in redeveloping its business post 9/11 and specifically for its high level of export achievement over the three year award period to 31 October 2005, totaling £13.5 million, during which export sales increased by 79%. This is the third Queen’s Award for Spectrum following previous export awards in 1995 and 2000, making it one of the very few SMEs (small and medium size enterprises) to win the award three times. Spectrum has developed a range of ultra violet (UV) laser based wire marking and processing equipment that is used in the production of the hundreds of miles of electrical wiring incorporated into modern aircraft. The Company’s innovative UV laser wire marking process is now the international aerospace industry standard, having replaced older ink based marking technology. Its CAPRIS® wire markers are used throughout the world in the manufacture and maintenance of all kinds of aerospace products, from the latest Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 airliners to advanced fighter aircraft, such as the American F-22 and the European Eurofighter, as well as civil and military helicopters and defence systems. Despite the recent strength of the pound in foreign exchange markets, particularly against the US dollar, the Company’s exports rose to £6 million [unaudited] for the 12 month period ended 31 October 2005, up from £4.1 million for the equivalent preceding period and representing 94% of turnover, and exceeding total reported 2004 sales of £4.6m. Exports to North America were substantially up, while the Company also recorded its first sales to indigenous Chinese aircraft manufacturers as it increased its marketing activities in the growing Asia Pacific market. Overall sales were 66% exports to North America, 14% Asia Pacific, 12% Europe, and 2% South America with the remaining 6% in the UK home market. The Company’s products have now been exported to 35 different countries in six continents.

Since Spectrum last won the Queen’s Award for Export in 2000 the aerospace industry has been through its severest downturn for decades, subsequent to the 9/11 attacks in the USA. Following an initial marked decline in sales the company responded by developing a new generation of UV laser wire marker products, with the help of a SPUR R&D grant from the Welsh Assembly. The resulting 4th Generation CAPRIS product range, which it launched in 2003, effectively halved the cost of the technology at every level and allowed the company to market an entry level system for aircraft maintenance activities at substantially lower prices than previously available. The result was a 79% growth in sales during the three year award period. In every year but one since 1993 the company has exported more than 90% of its production as a percentage of total sales.

2005 was especially successful for Spectrum’s new CAPRIS range as Spectrum capitalised upon its development activity with the completion of the market launch of the new CAPRIS 60-200 high speed automated wire processor, which successfully gained supremacy at the top end of the market place. The CAPRIS 60-200 replaces the previous best selling CAPRIS 100, both of which are sold primarily to major aircraft manufacturers. The company’s single largest order in 2005 came from Boeing as it started to reequip its Everett facility, near Seattle, where their widebody commercial jet liners are manufactured.

Dr Peter Dickinson, Chairman & CEO said: "For a company our size to win the Queens award on three occasions is exceptional, I believe we may be the only SME in Wales to have achieved this, certainly one of the very few across the whole of the UK. We are honoured and truly delighted to be a recipient of this prestigious award once again. Our success managing the difficult post 9/11 period and building up our business, which is so strongly export reliant, has been based upon innovative technology and products, and a strong customer base while striving to provide high levels of customer satisfaction in challenging circumstances. Our employees can all be very proud, this was a big team effort and they are the reason for our success".

Contact: Peter Dickinson
T: + 44 (0) 191 4029000

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