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EGI breaks through glass ceiling

09 September 2010

Article featured in Manchester Evening News, 9/9/10

A Manchester fitter of specialised glass has smashed its first year target by winning high-profile customers including Bruntwood, Manchester Airport and Marks and Spencer.

European Glass Installations (EGI), based in Wythenshawe, is a subsidiary of European Glass Group and was founded in August, 2009.

The Group is one of Europe’s biggest independent glass processors, with a turnover of £8m and more than 100 staff at four sites, including 30 at its Manchester factory.

It produces glass for use in the interiors and exteriors of buildings, including fire-resistant, toughened, curved and coloured products.

The Group uses glass to create balustrades, staircases, partitions, doors and exterior facades, but had never had a supply and fitting division.

It decided it wanted to grab a slice of the glass fitting sector, so set about recruiting a team to launch EGI.

The team of eight, which sub-contracts the fitting of the glass to teams around the country, achieved its first-year turnover target in just nine months to hit year-end revenues of £3m.

EGI business development manager Nathan Walker said: “What we can now offer is a nationwide supply and installation service.

Our main customers are fit-out contractors and interior designers, but our next push will be to target architects.

“That way we are closer to the project from day one and are able to get our products specified in the original tender, rather than having to sell to the contractor.

“There is a lot of competition in the sector and times are still tough, but because we manufacture the glass as well as fit it we are able to offer reduced lead times – typically 48 hours depending on the product – at competitive rates.

“We are a small company but our success so far has exceeded our expectations.”

That success has included installing its products in The Peninsula Building, opposite the MEN Arena, The Arndale Centre, and South Trafford College.

Later this year EGI will start a big project for Manchester University Business School, and it is close to securing a deal to supply glass for The Olympic Village in Stratford.