Prestigious contract boost for town firm

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A MANUFACTURING firm in Bury St Edmunds has won a prestigious contract to supply to optic leader Carl Zeiss in Germany.

Herga Electric, which employs 120 people in Northern Way, landed a £100,000 two-year order to supply the firm with customised medically approved foot switches.

The 1,000 switches will be used by Carl Zeiss to control their microscopes. Deliveries to the German firm will start next month.

Richard Chatham, managing director at Herga, said: “We are delighted. It is a significant order for us and helps to secure jobs as we come out of the recession.

“It is really good news for our business, especially as we seek to expand into the medical sector. Plus it is a very prestigious name that we are working with.”

Around 60 per cent of Herga’s production is exports. Mr Chatham said turnover at the firm was now back up to £4.5 million, around the same as two years ago, having dipped last year.

“We are back on track with where we was 24 months ago,” Mr Chatham said.

Although the medical markets have always counted for around a quarter of Herga’s business, in recent years that has grown closer to a third. With people living longer and needing more care, Mr Chatham said Herga had identified medical as a growing market for its products.

The firm is hoping to gain other medical contracts having exhibited at a specialist exhibition in Dusseldorf in November.

“We were very busy on our stand. Generally medical contracts can take over 12 months to secure but we have a number of sales leads to follow up from that exhibition, although it is likely to be 2012 before we are likely to be able to announce anything,” Mr Chatham said.

The company, founded in 1947, is a leading manufacturer of pressure, vacuum, foot, air and infra red switches to name a few.

For more on the firm, visit www.herga.com