Published: 09:18, 17 October 2019
| Updated: 13:52, 17 October 2019
A biotech company that supplies blood plasma for lab testing is set to hit sales of £1million for the first time in 2020 after securing new deals with customers in Japan.
AbBaltis, based in Borden, Sittingbourne, specialises in creating diagnostic samples specific to market regulations, something that is in demand in Japan where an increasing number of biotechnology companies work internationally.
The company already supplies blood plasma to disease-testing businesses across Europe, North America and Asia.
The news comes after International Trade Secretary Liz Truss returned from a visit to Tokyo last month where she launched her "call for input" to underline the government’s commitment to reaching a free trade agreement with Japan as soon as possible once Brexit is confirmed.
Giedre Brandao, managing director at AbBaltis said: “One of the biggest challenges for a business that’s new to exporting or to a market is getting a foot in the door and making that first point of contact.
"Now that we’re establishing our presence in Japan, customers are reaching out to us organically. If we can do it, other businesses can too.”
The company was introduced to its new Japanese customers at Medica 2017 in Dusseldorf – the largest trade show in the world for the medical sector, attracting more than 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) helped the business to exhibit through its Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) – which provides grant funding for businesses to gain market knowledge and make new contacts through exhibiting at trade shows overseas.
Ben Raby, head of the south east at the DIT, said: “AbBaltis wanted to increase its international sales to new regions like East Asia and exhibiting at tradeshows is a great way to get your business and its products in front of potential customers.
“Being face-to-face with these customers can lead to future sales, and ongoing business relationships. As demonstrated by AbBaltis, this can have a positive impact on turnover."
In recognition of its export achievements, AbBaltis was selected to be an 'export champion' by DIT, joining the nationwide export champion community of companies acting as ambassadors for overseas trade, offering practical advice and tips to other businesses.
The business has increased its annual turnover from £460,000 to £802,000 in the financial year 2017/18 and forecasts its turnover will reach £1million next year. This increase is largely thanks to international sales, with exports to Asia increasing from 3.5% of annual turnover in 2017, to 16% in 2018.