Thetford company's bright future

THE man who helped turn household cleaning firm Jeyes into a �200m turnover firm is now lending his expertise to another Norfolk company.

THE man who helped turn household cleaning firm Jeyes into a �200m turnover firm is now lending his expertise to another Norfolk company.

Mike Colley, former chief executive at Jeyes, is one of two businessmen aiming to boost growth at Thetford-based Peerless Plastics and Coatings.

The two are investing cash and support to help grow the firm from its current �1.5m turnover to �5m in three years, with a goal of reaching �10m after that.

Peerless firm specialises in applying decorative and protective coatings to plastic parts from the insides of cars and aircraft to the casings of Sky digi boxes boxes.

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Managing director James Grint said, while the firm had been successful, it needed a push to move it on to another level.

“We need to expand and to do that we need cash and expertise,” he said.

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“They have brought new ideas and new ways of doing things. The cash is helping us to update our facilities so we can push the business forward for larger throughput of business.”

The firm has already set up a couple of distribution and partner offices in Sweden and Norway, he said.

“We are looking at Europe as an expansion area,” Mr Grint added. “Europe came out of the recession quicker than us, especially in plastics.”

He said the firm had weathered the recession well because their business came from a broad spread of sectors, including medical, security, white goods, automotive and aircraft.

Joining Mr Colley is Martyn Bromley, chief executive of Banham Poultry. The pair have so far invested a six figure sum to the business, Mr Grint said, and that could increase as the business grows.

Mr Colley, who started his career with Proctor and Gamble before moving to Jeyes, said: “The market is large and it has great potential for growth. Plastic is used in many industries and the application for coatings is wide.

“What they produce is market leading and clearly in demand, the people here are very knowledgeable, have great expertise and are very committed.

“Put together that is a great vehicle for growth and investment.”

Peerless was founded in March, Cambridgeshire, but moved to Thetford 12 years ago. It spent �1.5m on its new premises in Howlett Way, creating new coating lines, and eight years ago spent another �250,000 on decorative coating lines.

This helped them move into the VIP aircraft market where they produce finishes made to look like wood. It has recently worked for Pakistani Airlines. The firm employs 26 staff.

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