Norwich offshore firm’s global success is honoured

08:00 09 April 2014

Chief finance officer Sam Copeman

Chief finance officer Sam Copeman

Lee Harvey

Norwich-based offshore technology company EV is celebrating a prestigious export achievement award in recognition of its remarkable global growth.

The company, which designs and manufactures market-leading downhole video technology for the oil industry, has seen its turnover increase from just under £1m to £19m-plus in four years.

And what was a solely UK-based concern three years ago now operates out of 17 worldwide bases.

The export accolade, announced at the 28th Offshore Achievement Awards in Aberdeen, comes just weeks after EV completed a £400,000 move into a new technology centre in Frensham Road, on the Sweet Briar Industrial Estate.

Chief finance officer Sam Copeman said: “We are doing here exactly what the UK needs at the moment in growing our exports. Eighty-five per cent of our business now is outside the UK.”

He stressed that their manufacture was also significantly benefiting the supply chain, both locally and across the UK. “Most of our supply chain is UK-based and a significant proportion is local,” he said.

Mr Copeman said their video technology, which saves time and money for customers by diagnosing problems in their oil well bore, had captured 70pc of the global market.

They were the only company able to offer HD quality images and their cutting-edge technology had developed beyond video with the addition of extra sensors.

They were planning to develop it still further through the investment of several million pounds in research and development over the next three years.

“All our R and D, design and manufacturing takes place in this building,” he said.

The company was formed in 2000 but its rapid growth began in 2010 after an injection of private equity finance.

EV currently employs nearly 100 staff worldwide with 32 based in Norwich.

“I can see us getting to 40 in the next two years,” said Mr Copeman.

“We are planning to double our turnover again over the next three years.”

Francis Neill, EV chief executive, said their move to Frensham Road, tripling the footprint of their previous Norwich bases in Rose Lane and Whitlingham Lane, represented “a great step for EV”.

“It puts us in good standing to continue our focus on research and development, and we have a number of new products that we look forward to introducing to the market this year,” he said.

Features of the 23,000sq ft facility include warehouse space and a state-of-the-art lab featuring the ability to test camera technology to 175°C and 20,000psi.

He said they were “honoured” to receive the export award.

“We have focused on a path of sustained growth to reach this level of internationalisation and have done extensive research into all of the markets we’ve entered to ensure superior service and a lasting relationship with our regional client base,” he said.

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