As fast-developing economies grow, so do opportunities to export to them. Among the UK companies capitalising on these opportunities is Contamac, a leader in developing speciality polymers for the ophthalmic industry.

The company, also the world’s largest manufacturer of contact lens and intraocular lens materials, has enjoyed eight record financial years in a row – and exports have played a major part in that growth.

John McGregor, Contamac Managing Director, says: "With the emergence of renewed growth in our market area throughout the BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India and China], we refocused our sales and marketing effort and have enjoyed remarkable success." Sales and marketing have been vital to the company’s progress, with Contamac investing heavily in branding and product promotion. The products the company sells are produced at its modern laboratory complex in Saffron Walden. "We have invested heavily for many years in research and development, keeping the company at the front of technological development," John says.

  • Contamac has enjoyed eight consecutive record financial years

Developing products requires investment, and John wants the UK to do more to support SMEs. "We need to give greater and more easily accessible loan guarantees to SMEs when they can’t satisfy the requirements of the banks. SMEs need money to grow and if they can put forward a good business plan, they should be supported."

Contamac is planning further growth itself by acquiring smaller companies and developing relationships with partners overseas, primarily in the BRIC countries, as the company continues its strategy of growing in line with the world’s fastest-developing economies.