Overseas boom at pottery

MDL090323A2 - Denby Pottery exterior
MDL090323A2 - Denby Pottery exterior

Thirty-seven jobs are to be created at Denby Pottery after a boom in overseas sales at the firm.

The new positions will bring the total number of manufacturing jobs at the site to 238 and allow the firm to produce almost 120,000 pieces of pottery a week.

The expansion comes just five years after the firm fell into administration in 2009 and redundancies were made.

In 2009 Denby Pottery was bought out by its senior management team, who were backed by restructuring and refinancing firm Hilco Capital.

Since then, bosses of Denby, which also has a distribution centre in Wayzgoose Drive, Derby, have worked hard to revive the brand.

And following a huge increase in exports to countries such as Korea and Canada - which have grown by 62 per cent in the first three months of this year alone - they are searching for new employees.

Paul McGowan, chief executive of Denby’s owner Hilco Capital, said: “Our investment in export activities over recent years is bearing fruit, especially in the Korean and Canadian markets.While the growth figures for the first quarter are impressive, we expect even higher levels of growth in the current quarter given the record level of our export order book at the moment.

“The Denby business has seen volume growth every year since we acquired it in 2009 and overall business increased by an impressive 5% in the first quarter of this year, despite the closure of our North American distribution centre for an entire month due to weather disruption.”

Towards the end of last year the company had to contend with strike action by staff over pay but the dispute was eventually resolved and Denby has not looked back since.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, said: “This is good news for the local economy and comes at a time when the recovery is firmly taking root. Derbyshire forms part of the manufacturing heartland of the UK and, in order to build a sustainable economy for the future, we need to move more towards innovation, exports and enterprise.

“This is just one example of a company which has expanded its operations into new markets overseas and is now reaping the rewards and creating more jobs for local people.”

Hilco Capital is now looking for another company to take on Denby and build on its overseas performance. Financial services firm Canaccord Genuity has been appointed to handle the sale. The firm has so far received more than 27 expressions of interest.