New jobs are being created and a wider range of products offered to household-name British retailers in an expansion by a Yorkshire-based international import business.
More than 20 new staff, including specialist buying directors, administration assistants, sales and warehouse personnel are being taken on by Pharmore Ltd, Leeds, to expand its product range to some of Britain’s best-known retailers, after gaining backing from Yorkshire Bank Financial Solutions Centres (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.
The Yorkshire Bank funding, which includes a £2.1m foreign exchange facility and an 80 per cent increase to Pharmore’s invoice finance and import loan facilities, will give the business better security in volatile overseas markets, greater buying capacity and fund its further expansion plans.
The recruitment drive follows Pharmore’s completion of the first phase of its expansion which has extended its head office at Pudsey to increase warehouse capacity and create a new showroom, larger offices and expand its quality assurance departments for India and China.
Pharmore Ltd, founded by brothers Adam and Daniel Harris in 2006, started by importing mirrors from China and distributing to UK retailers. Since then the company has launched its Total Bathroom Division which distributes bathroom accessories, while its Home Décor Division imports and distributes rugs, textiles, wall art, furniture and giftware.
The company also has a specialist Mobility Division registered with the BHTA (British Healthcare Trade Association) which imports and distributes mobility and independent living aids approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The company now imports products from Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brazil as well as China and India.
Among the company’s key UK retail customers are Next Plc, BHS, Selfridges, Aldi, Netto, Dunhelm Mill, Dunns Stores, Fenwicks, Trago Mills, TK Maxx, Homestsore & More, Anglia Co-op, Cargo Homestores, The Range, QD Stores and TV shopping channels, Sit–Up TV and Ideal Home Shopping.
Earlier this year Pharmore opened an office and showroom in Shenzhen, China from where it exports products to the USA, Australia, The Middle East and Europe.
Pharmore Ltd managing director, Neelan DeLanerolle, who joined in 2009 after eight years as buying director with one of the UK’s biggest houseware importers and acquired a 17 per cent stake in the company, says: “The Yorkshire Bank funding enables us to launch Phase Two of our expansion, an investment in people which will help to deliver the company’s growth forecasts.
“We doubled turnover in 2009-2010. Last year produced a lower rate of growth but there were a lot of improvements to the infrastructure and it was another successful year.
“This year’s launch of the China office and the Yorkshire Bank support are a massive boost to the company’s prospects for continued growth despite the harsh economic climate. It is tough out there but all the staff are working extremely hard and we are managing to buck the trend of decline in businesses.”
Yorkshire Bank FSC business partner, Mick Tew, who arranged the funding, says: “Pharmore Ltd is a first-rate import business which places quality at the core of its operation and has the potential for significant global growth. We are pleased to be supporting it and creating yet more private sector jobs through our Investing for Growth initiative.”
Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses signing up to the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.
Yorkshire Bank’s West Yorkshire FSC, Canal Road, which covers Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and up to Craven district, comprises 45 staff in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.