The five winners of the 2007 London Passport to Export Awards, the UK capital’s only international business awards programme, were announced at an awards dinner at Church Hall, Westminster, hosted by broadcaster and comedian Sandi Toksvig, recently.


Passport to Export is UKTI’s flagship programme which helps companies start taking their products and services to new markets abroad. The awards recognise the successes of the capital’s SMEs in trading internationally under the programme, and the winners are companies that have demonstrated exceptional results in exporting their products and services.


The winners by award were:


Outstanding achievement through Passport to Export:


This award goes to a company who has had exceptional success on the Passport to Export Programme and has exceeded all expectations. The recipient shows the initiative, the resource and a strong desire to succeed in exporting.



  • Vetcell Bioscience Ltd


Based in Camden, VetCell Bioscience is a leading provider of stem cell technology to the world of animal health. VetCell’s pioneering services include the provision of stem cells for the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries in horses and the company is now designing trials for the treatment of human tendon and ligament injuries.


The Passport to Export programme helped VetCell start operating in North and South America, Australia, Japan, South Africa, the Middle East and throughout Europe. Since developing its international trade strategy VetCell have gained business from 19 overseas markets and are continuing to grow their revenue from international trade by appointing partners and expanding their product line.


Outstanding service company:


This award goes to a service-based company who has exceeded expectations in taking their services to international markets.



  • Opta Sportsdata


Opta specialises in the collection and analysis of sports data using technology which enables very detailed live data to be delivered in real time in various formats to customers including media, sports commentators and coaches and betting companies.


With the help of the Passport to Export programme, Opta’s goal of overseas expansion has seen it generate business in 13 new markets. As a percentage of total turnover, export sales increased from 17% in 2004-05 to 28% in 2005-06, and are expected to account for 42 % this year.


Exceptional manufacturer:


This award goes to a manufacturer or designer who has exceeded expectations in taking their products to international markets.



  • Warmup


Warmup manufactures and markets under-tile electrical heating systems for kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories. Since 2004, the company has established a local presence in the US, Portugal, Germany and Spain, substantially developed export distribution networks which now include 14 markets, and relocated to larger premises to keep pace with demand.


Plans are already well under way to build upon this success by further development of existing and new markets.


Exceptional new exporter:


This award goes to a company exporting for the first time, which has had significant success in breaking into international markets.



  • Piatonna


Dedicated to high-quality, handmade manufacture, Westminster-based Piatonna creates luxury leather handbags and small leather goods in striking, original designs. Starting from a base of a single UK wholesale customer, the company now boasts retail clients in more than 18 countries.


Its bags have a loyal following among stylish women, including stars of the music industry and actresses such as Kate Winslet. The collection is carried by more than 60 of the world’s most prestigious department stores and boutiques – among them Mitsukoshi in Japan and Harrods, Liberty, and Fortnum & Mason in London.


The Passport to Export programme played an important role in achieving this expansion in the major markets of Japan, the US and Europe.


Outstanding exporter:


This award goes to an established exporter who has exceeded expectations in successfully entering into a new market.



  • Delmatic Lighting Management


Delmatic designs, manufactures, installs and commissions sophisticated computer-addressable lighting management systems for commercial building projects. Since signing up to the Passport programme in 2005, Delmatic’s turnover has increased by 40%, and export sales have more than trebled, making this the fastest-growing part of its business.


The company has experienced growth in its existing international markets, but has also entered five new markets while on the programme – China, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Delmatic’s biggest international success has been in the United Arab Emirates, where the company used to work with an agent, but has now established its own company.


The awards ceremony was the finale of UKTI’s International Month, a series of events, training days and seminars giving London businesses essential insights into opportunities in sectors and markets abroad.