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Boiler maker’s order book up post-Brexit vote

Mistral Boilers - James Wright (Jim Wright).

Mistral Boilers – James Wright (Jim Wright).

Midlands manufacturer Mistral Boilers is reporting a hike in export business as part of a strategy to build business sales outside of the EU following the Brexit vote.

The oil-fired boiler maker, which has been manufacturing in Telford for more than 40 years, has secured its second order headed for New Zealand in six months.

Managing director Jim Wright said the company was currently in talks with a number of new customers in overseas markets, with a shipment of Mistral’s condensing and non-condensing heating systems potentially headed to Australia before the end of the year.

“We secured an order from New Zealand earlier this year and given the uncertainty both ahead and after the Brexit vote, we have put in place a strategy to investigate new markets outside of the Eurozone for our products.

“This has led to us winning our second order from New Zealand in the last six months and the latest order actually tops the total number of exports we did to Europe for the whole of last year.

“Brexit represents an exciting opportunity for manufacturers, particularly small and medium sized businesses like Mistral which do not have a base within mainland Europe. I think all exporting SMEs should be looking to both new and emerging markets but also established markets such as Australia, the US and the Middle East.

Halesfield-based Mistral is one of the top five oil-fired boiler manufacturers in the UK, alongside household names such as Worcester Bosch and Grant UK. The oil fired boiler sector in the UK is currently enjoying a resurgence with sales up 8 – 10% last year.

Mr Wright added: “Global oil prices have fallen which is making an enormous difference to oil using households, both here and abroad, with many saving hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills.

“Oil is now by far the cheapest major heating fuel, with typical annual costs currently around £793 a year – that’s 48% cheaper than LPG, 50 per cent less expensive than electric storage heaters and 24% cheaper than mains gas.

“We are looking to develop our overseas sales in markets where, like New Zealand, there are a vast number of homes off gas grid and in rural or remote areas.”