March 5 2015 Latest news:
By Lucy wright
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Increased UK sales has helped fuel growth at a Wymondham-based toy firm as it adds new products to its portfolio.
Orchard Toys produces puzzles and games for children aged 18 months to 12 years which are designed and packed in Norfolk and manufactured in the Midlands.
Managing director Simon Newbery said the firm, which sells around 1.3m puzzles, board games and books annually had enjoyed a year of growth primarily through new UK-based customers.
With exports making up 20pc of sales and markets including Australia, America, Hong Kong, and Singapore, it was also starting to produce products in French, which it hoped could also open up the French Canadian market.
“We thought that the growth would have been from the exports but it has been from the UK,” he said. “It has been down to new customers coming on board.”
The firm, which employs 55 people and relocated to Norfolk from Nottingham in 2006, supplies local stores including Jarrold, Langleys and Kerrison’s.
It currently has 115 products in the range and designs around 10 new products a year.
Last year an expansion on its business park site helped it increase capacity by 60pc.
Mr Newbery said that despite tough economic conditions, turnover was forecast to be £5m, up by 15pc on last year. Turnover has been up around 50pc since we moved here,” he added. “There has been significant growth and we plan to continue to grow.”
Orchard Toys was founded in Nottingham 40 years ago by Keith Harvey. The firm moved to Wymondham business park in 2006 when Mr Harvey sold the business to his son-in-law, Hugh Beevor, who lives near Attleborough.
With a reputation as one of the toughest people in business, many stores would shudder at the thought of getting the Mary Portas treatment.