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Royal seal for scrap firm that looked abroad

A scrap metal firm in Liverpool has won a Queens Award for Enterprise 2004. S Norton & Co was given the prestigious award in recognition of its outstanding growth in exports sales abroad rose by £23 million per year from 2000 to 2002.

Coming a week after the Sims Group announced $112m profit in the 12 months to June, the award shows the opportunities present in a turbulent ferrous market.

Prices have fluctuated wildly recently but clearly this is not all bad for business.

The award was presented to managing director John Norton by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Alan Waterworth JP last week at the companys Regent Road site. Norton said: I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the company. Its not just for me, but in recognition of our collective achievements and working as a team.

Between 2000 and 2002 S Norton & Co expanded its UK operations with a £20m investment in new facilities, and a 43% increase in the workforce at its Liverpool and Manchester sites.

However, it was its growth in exports by more than 50% during the same period that guaranteed royal recognition and was the main reason for the companys success.

Norton & Co public affairs advisor David Hulse said this was achieved through the strategic identification of emerging markets.

He said: We researched markets abroad by looking at information available through the media and various libraries. Obviously everyone is aware of China, but we looked at other countries in the Far East that didnt have the materials to support the industrial growth they were experiencing.

Norton also exports to Europe and the Americas, but it has been the emerging markets of south east Asia that have been the catalyst for its growth over the past few years.

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