Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mike Gets Double Award Surprise; WINNER: MIKE MATTHEWS, EUROPEAN OPERATIONS OFFICER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIFCO UK, EAGLESCLIFFE

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mike Gets Double Award Surprise; WINNER: MIKE MATTHEWS, EUROPEAN OPERATIONS OFFICER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIFCO UK, EAGLESCLIFFE

Article excerpt

THE man who has steered Teesside's car parts manufacturer Nifco UK to rapid success triumphed as the Teesside Business Executive of the Year, as well as taking the overall title.

Mike Matthews, European operations officer and managing director at the Eaglescliffe-based business, took the top honour at at last night's awards. The news comes just weeks after the company said it was already looking head to it's third phase of expansion.

It spent PS8.5m relocating to its current Eaglescliffe site last year and is already investing PS12.8m in further expansion.

The company, which makes plastic components from door handles to bumper brackets for customers including Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Honda, has had much to celebrate since Mr Matthews took the helm in 2008.

That year, the company turned over PS28.5m, and a loss of PS675,000 was turned into a profit of PS2.86m.

Growth has continued at an impressive rate ever since, with latest revenues standing at PS48m.

The only non-Japanese member of Nifco's international board, former apprentice Matthews has worked his way up from the shopfloor.

Work on the site's current expansion plan, which began earlier this year, will increase capacity and see the introduction or research and development facilities - only Nifco's second R&D facility outside Japan.

Already employing 350 staff, the workforce is set to be boosted by a further 170. The firm has also risen 50 places to 147th this year in the North East Top 200.

A huge supporter of work-based learning he's said working his way up from the shop floor has been key to his success.

"It makes a huge difference, it keeps you completely grounded with your feet on the floor," he added.

"It's important to always be motivated, to be focused and challenge yourself every single day." An ex-apprentice who rejected long-term redundancy, Bunn instead used his later experience and further education to launch this meteoric group of three firms project-managing in iron and steel manufacturing, petrochemicals, oil and gas onshore and offshore, plus other energy. …

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