Norwich image company pictures growth across Far East

Julie Staples, Brandbank group sales director

Julie Staples, Brandbank group sales director - Credit: Archant

Norwich-based Brandbank hopes to strengthen its foothold in the Far East and Western Europe as it steps closer towards launching a major investment drive next year.

The company, which creates images of products for supermarket websites, has cultivated small-scale operations in China, Malaysia and Thailand after previously concentrating its efforts on central and Eastern Europe following a decision by its major client Tesco to up its expansion across the EU.

And it expects turnover to remain broadly the same next year – around the £10m mark – amid plans to re-invest cash back into the business to develop a wider range of digital services for its customers.

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It comes as the firm announced yesterday that a new face would be joining its board of directors after Julie Staples was promoted to group sales director overseeing commercial activity across the group's markets.

The business, which recently moved to a new base on Robberds Way, doubled its revenues from £5m in 2011 to £10.5m last year after setting up operations in the Czech Republic and Poland.

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Stuart Andrews, global head of marketing and communications, said: 'We are investing heavily into upgrading our systems and we are still focusing our investment into overseas growth. We had a focus around central and eastern Europe and that was driven by our relationship with Tesco. But we are looking at Western Europe as well. France, for example, does a lot of clicking and collecting.

'We are starting to feel the real benefits of globalisation and there is a lot of major brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi Co that are identifying the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets as the areas for growth.'

He said the business had remained buoyant during the recession because it was unaffected by the 'real-time shackles' of bricks and mortar shopping, as its customers used its services to adapt and experiment online.

Meanwhile, Mrs Staples said her promotion to the board at Brandbank has been the pinnacle moment of her career. She said: 'When you come out of university with 40-odd years of work ahead of you, never do you dream that you will be the director of an international, forward-thinking business just 10 years into your professional career.'