UK Export Finance has this week published its annual report and accounts showing £3.2 million of support provided to South West exporters, resulting in over £41 million worth of overseas sales.
South West companies supported by UKEF include Somerset-based FTI, a manufacturer of insulation cladding for oil and gas firms, including big-name international clients such as Shell and BP.
In order to secure a major $8.5 million export contract with Malaysian oil company Petronas, FTI was asked to provide $1 million worth of bonds. Though a common requirement in the oil and gas industry, the cash deposits required to secure the bonds would have put serious pressure on FTI’s working capital.
UKEF provided FTI’s bank with a guarantee for 80% of the bond value, allowing FTI to secure the high value contract while retaining sufficient cash to finance its manufacturing and business operations, and subsequently secure another Petronas contract as a result.
Hugh Francis, Export Finance Manager for the South West said: “UKEF’s results demonstrate our ongoing commitment to making exports happen and to finding innovative ways to meet a broader range of exporter needs. More importantly, they highlight the growing international demand for UK goods and services and the willingness for UK businesses to meet that demand.”
UKEF’s national results for 2016/17 show that it provided £3 billion of support across the UK – a 60% increase on 2015/16 – for exports to 63 countries, with 79% of the UK exporters benefiting from this support small and medium-sized enterprises. UKEF also lent a record £305 million directly to infrastructure and energy projects.
Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister for International Trade, commented: “This government is putting export finance at the heart of trade promotion, and UKEF’s 2016/17 results show that the UK’s world-leading exporters are supported by a world-leading export credit agency as they look to succeed in a global marketplace. And UKEF’s new Business Plan is a clear statement of intent: Britain is open for business, and we want to help even more companies realise the world of opportunity out there.”