Growth to accelerate at Award-Winning Family Business

Growth to accelerate at award-winning family business

Growth is set to accelerate at a Queen’s Award-winning family business with the benefits of relocating to larger premises earlier this year already being felt, new accounts covering the period leading up to the move have revealed.

Pricecheck is a second generation family owned business, established in 1978 by the parents of Mark Lythe and Debbie Harrison, who now run the company as joint managing directors.

A supplier of international branded consumer goods, Pricecheck works predominately in the health and beauty sector, dealing with discounted clearance stock.

In February this year, Pricecheck relocated to larger premises in Beighton (pictured) where it has sufficient space to accommodate the rapid growth experienced by the business.

In accounts for the year to 30 April 2016, Pricecheck said it had already experienced a 25 per cent uplift in turnover from the first six months of operation at Old Colliery Way. The company’s workforce also topped 100 for the first time at the end of August.

Despite the distraction and costs associated with the relocation, Pricecheck maintained its growth through 2015/16, increasing sales from £40.5m to £43.6m and net profit after tax by 4.6 per cent to £816,424.

In 2015, Pricecheck scooped a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, reflecting the growth of its overseas activity since developing a dedicated export strategy in 2009.

The company today supplies retailers in more than 70 countries and export sales made up £14.3m of its total turnover in 2015/16.

Relocating to larger premises is designed to support plans to double turnover to £80m, and increase staff numbers to 150, over the next five years.

A spokesman for the business said: “The new building and larger team are expected to drive sales beyond £50m in the current year and our new product categories of food, confectionary, soft drinks and pet care have been particularly successful.”

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 12th October 2016

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University agrees International Engineering Exchange

The University of Sheffield has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nanjing University to contribute to a three-way exchange programme that also involves Ohio State University in the US.

The three universities will hold summer programmes to support undergraduate engineering students to work together to innovate, create and commercialise their inventions.

The students will work on technological solutions in order to help improve the lives of those with medical conditions.

Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Sheffield, said: “I am delighted that the University of Sheffield is able to use its strength in engineering and enterprise education in such positive manner to work internationally with other similar-minded universities. Innovation and entrepreneurial skills are truly critical to the economies of the UK, China and the US.”

Professor Zhang Yibin, chancellor of Nanjing University, added: “This three way exchange builds on the long-term relationship Nanjing University has with Sheffield and the ongoing program with Ohio State, so it integrates current bilateral partnerships into a new stage.

“In China, Nanjing University is one of the four national demonstration bases for innovation and entrepreneurship of higher education. I believe it very necessary to have more international partners in training global leaders with innovation and entrepreneurial abilities.”

The University of Sheffield’s research partners and clients include: Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Source: Karishma Patel, Insider Media, 29th September 2016

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QES Breakfast – Brexit: Business as Usual?

October 7 @ 8:00 am10:00 am

Hear the results of the Q3 Sheffield City Region Quarterly Economic Survey – the first business survey since the EU Referendum.

Find out how businesses in the Sheffield City Region have been impacted since the vote to leave the EU – for better or worse.

Business leaders from across the Sheffield City Region will meet to hear the results of the first Quarterly Economic Survey since the EU Referendum vote and debate how they are managing the uncertainty around the general economy.

The results will also show when Sheffield City Region respondents think when Article 50 should be triggered to leave the EU and what they think are the most pressing issues the Government needs to clarify and work on.

There will be plenty of networking opportunities over breakfast with other regional businesses.


Registration & breakfast

– Welcome – Dan Fell, CEO, Doncaster Chamber
– Introduction to the QES and the current economy – Greg Wright, Deputy Business Editor, Yorkshire Post
– A word from the sponsor – Darren Marshall, RBS South Yorkshire & North Derbyshire

Sheffield City Region Quarterly Economic Survey results – Prof. Andrew Simpson, Associate Dean External Business Advancement, Sheffield University Management School

Keynote speech – The longer term challenges and opportunities that the Sheffield City Region faces and how Brexit will impact. Paul Swinney, Principal Economist, Centre for Cities

Panel discussion with Q&A
Richard Walsh, Managing Director, Pennine Stone
Lee Bartlett, Senior Manager, Fragomen Worldwide
Gareth Owen, Group Solicitor, QFM Group
Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair, Local Enterprise Partnership
Renate Halton, Owner, Halton International

– Free Flights Prize Draw courtesy of Doncaster Sheffield Airport
– Networking


Businesses need to be clear about what they want from Brexit and the role of the Chambers and local government is more important than ever to communicate this. The survey results and event discussions will be used by the Sheffield City Region’s four regional Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnership to offer the right business support and lobby Whitehall for the right frameworks to be agreed internationally to meet the needs of regional businesses.

Have your voice heard.

To register please click here

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Sheffield Tech Firm targets Chinese Market

Sheffield-based Magnomatics is set to contribute its technologies to the UK arm of Chinese car manufacturing giant Changan as part of a new collaboration agreement between the two.

Changan UK was established by Changan Automobile in June 2010 and is dedicated to powertrain design and development for its parent company’s next generation vehicles.

A powertrain comprises the components which conduct the vehicle’s power from the original source of energy to the surface of the road.

Magnomatics’ collaboration agreement with Changan UK and consortium partners Romax Technology, CMCL Innovations and University of Sheffield is to develop and evaluate the Sheffield company’s Magsplit hybrid transmission for use in future Changan Vehicles.

The £2.85m project, codenamed IMPACT, has been co-funded by Innovate UK and was one of the winning bids following a competition launched last September encouraging companies to propose ideas to cut vehicle emissions.

David Latimer, chief executive of Magnomatics, said the partnership with Changan “offers Magnomatics a route into the Chinese automotive market where we expect to see strong growth of car sales”.

Dr. Xiaoyu Zhang, general manager of Changan UK, added: “We are pleased that with the involvement of Innovate UK, Changan is able to evaluate this promising UK technology against other world class proposals for hybrid transmissions.

“Changan UK’s success in designing and developing our future powertrain products means we are well placed to do so and are further pleased that this project promotes closer collaborative ties between the UK and China.”

Magnomatics was formed in 2006 as a spin-out company from a research group at the University of Sheffield.

Source: Sam Bulcock, Insider Media, 22nd August 2016

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Excellence in International Trade Award

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Awards

The Awards are open to organisations with an ‘S’ postcode (located within South Yorkshire) and all members of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce regardless of location.

The category I would like to draw your attention to is the Excellence in International Trade award.

This award will recognise a company which can show smart use of research which has enabled it to meet the challenges of trading overseas, particularly in major markets. This award is for companies which have excelled in the field of export, import and have built relationships with suppliers or customers overseas.

The judges will be looking for evidence of the following:

  • Evidence of international trade and how it impacts on the overall performance of the business.
  • Understanding of different cultures and practices in foreign markets and tailoring products or processes to meet the needs over overseas clients.
  • Ongoing commitment and versatility in exploiting new markets, including use of external advice and support.

If you would like to consider entering above award, please visit the main awards website at

 Entries close on Friday, 2nd September and the shortlist will be revealed on Monday, 19th September 2016.

Entry is free, easy, and not time consuming.

The ceremony, taking place at Magna Science Adventure Centre on Friday 14th October, recognises the achievements of businesses and individuals in 11 award categories, as well as awarding an overall Business of the Year – awarded last year to Palmer Construction, who will this year be presenting their award to another outstanding business.


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Mechan celebrates Hong Kong Success

Rail depot equipment specialist Mechan has secured two major orders from Hong Kong.

The Sheffield manufacturer has delivered lifting jacks and bogie turntables to the nation’s rapid transit railway operator MTR and is now building a bespoke bogie drop.

Working with local agent Associated Engineers, the company has supplied two dozen 20-tonne versions of its flagship jacks to the Wong Chuk Hang depot on the South Island and four turntables to transfer bogies between maintenance roads.

Richard Carr, Mechan’s chief executive, said: “We have a longstanding, successful relationship with MTR spanning almost two decades and we are very pleased the operator continues to source new depot lifting equipment from us.

“Our jacks and turntables are now fully operational and after a long and complex planning stage, we are confident the bogie drop will follow suit before the end of the year.”

Although the majority of Mechan’s work is undertaken in the UK, exports account for more than 20 per cent of turnover and its products are used in 30 countries worldwide.

Source: David Casey, Insider Media, 18th August 2016

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Focus on India

With an annual growth at over 7% and with well over a billion conumers, India offers opportunities for UK companies .

Overview of India and its regions – Key Sectors and Opportunties – Market Entry Routes – Practical Considerations – Current Challenges – Do’s and Don’ts –  Support Available – Local Connections


Steve Toogood, Director, UK India Business Council (UKIBC) 

MLS Vani & Associates, UK and India Based Law firm

To register to attend this event please contact us 

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The Sheffield City Region Doing Business in China Survey

You may have seen in the news that Sheffield Chamber, in partnership with New Era Development, University of Sheffield and Creative Sheffield have announced plans to develop the Chinese “Gateway to the North”.

This is an exciting development building on existing and recently announced investments between Sheffield and China and we intend to use it to grow trade, maximise investments and increase student numbers.

Doing this survey will help us get some simple but useful data as we develop the final proposal.

To participate in the survey please click here

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Live Indian export opportunities for UK businesses

The UK India Business Council has launched an Indian export opportunities feed on their website.

In collaboration with the UK Government, these real-time export opportunities cover a range of sectors, from food and drink to education. Below are a selection of the latest openings:

  • Company seeks distributorship for automation systems and special purpose machines
  • Leading food trading company is looking to import food products
  • Management institute seeking a partnership with a UK business school
  • Medical equipment company interested in import of nanotechnology equipment

For further information on those and other opportunties in a variety of sectors please click here

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UK defence export promotion inquiry

Source:, 21st July

The Committees on Arms Export Controls have launched an inquiry into UK defence export promotion. The inquiry will examine the role the government plays in promoting the UK defence industry abroad and consider the impact this has on fulfilling the nation’s international obligations.

The inquiry also examines the effectiveness of the Defence Growth Partnership. The partnership between the government and the defence industry aims to increase the UK’s global market share of defence exports and build greater collaboration across the sector.

Terms of reference

Written submissions are invited on the following questions:

  • How important are UK defence exports to the economy?
  • What role should HM Government play in promoting UK defence exports?
  • How effective is the Defence Growth Partnership in supporting UK defence exports?
  • Is the UK fulfilling its international obligations with regard to defence exports?
  • What more could the UK do to promote responsible defence exports?

Deadline for submissions

The deadline for written submissions is 31 August 2016.

Further info here

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