Exporter of the YearBack to Winners
Sponsored by Crowe Clark Whitehill
KEY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Medical manufacturing
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 36
Bedfont Scientific is a second-generation family business that designs and manufactures breath and gas monitoring devices used to help quit smoking, diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning and control asthma.
Turnover has risen by £2 million over the last five years, reaching £6.1 million last year, thanks to its expansion into overseas markets. Its products are available in more than 70 countries.
In 2015, Asia counted for 24% of all exports, overtaking Europe on 23%, and last year it counted for 30%. The Middle East doubled to 12% in 2015 and it also entered new territories including Africa.
The company’s strategy is to expand into North and South America, China and the Middle East.
Its foothold in the US market is due to explode after patent restrictions on its NObreath device ended in April. It values the market at $2 billion and is in talks to establish a sales network in the country.
Meanwhile it is cautiously eyeing China as a market for its Smokerlyzer, which helps people quit, as the government increases its spending on tobacco control.
Its profits jumped 486% in the last two years thanks to the sale of its NOxBOX division to US Fortune 250 company Praxair, allowing it to focus on its core breath-analysis products.
It aims to grow 20% a year over the next three years and has employed multilingual sales representatives to aid its overseas expansion.
Last year the company made Jason Smith its managing director, succeeding his father Trevor, who has become chairman.
Jason’s brother Andy is sales manager. He said: “Bedfont operates through a network of distributors, of which the first ever was appointed in 1988 by our father Trevor.
“That relationship continues today. It is more than a business arrangement. We see our distributors as an extension of the Bedfont family and it this great relationship that enables us to continue expanding our reach globally.”