By Joe Kelly, The Australian, 28 November 2015
A hi-tech Victorian manufacturer of tool and cutter grinders has won the exporter of the year title at the Australian Export Awards in Melbourne.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the company had been a leader in its field for 40 years and had successfully expanded its export markers, hiring 160 extra employees to meet the increasing demand for its products.
ANCA achieved 39 per cent growth in export sales in 2014-15, with revenue exceeding $197 million.
Mr Robb said the finalists, across all 12 categories, had generated more than $1.9 billion in export sales in 2014-15 and employed more than 16,500 people.
“That is an outstanding economic contribution, a part of why Australia has seen 24 years of consecutive growth,” he said.
There were 11 other winners across a range of fields, with awards going to those operating in the agribusiness, education and training, small business and online sales sectors.
Blackmores took out the health and biotechnology award, with Mr Robb having previously praised its sales growth in China, which grew from $2m last year to $75m this year.
“It saw net profit jump 83 per cent over the past year. Not bad for an 85-year-old company,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb also singled out Tasmania’s Reid Fruits for a special mention, saying it had taken “full advantage” of the free-trade deal with South Korea.
He said the deal had scrapped the 24 per cent tariff on cherries and led to exports skyrocketing from five tonnes to 183 tonnes in a single season.
“The free-trade agreements we have signed with key trading partners, including China, Japan, Korea — as well as the transformational Trans-Pacific Partnership — are unlocking unprecedented access to overseas markets,” Mr Robb said.
Winner of the online sales award went to Halfbrick Studios, an Australian game developer, while the education and training award went to Origo Education, which specialises in mathematics products.