Duo UK marks 25th anniversary with £1.1m investments

Posted on 18 Jul 2013 by The Manufacturer

Polythene manufacturer Duo UK celebrated 25 years of business by announcing an influx of technological investments totalling £1.1m.

The company, producers of mail order delivery bags for the retail industry, opened the doors of its Manchester facility yesterday to showcase the upgrades to the site.

The bulk of the investment has been sunk into a new £750,000 co-extrusion machine, aimed at increasing the firm’s manufacturing capacity by 40%.

Dale Brimelow of Duo UK shows The Manufacturer's James Pozzi around the firm's Manchester facility.

Funding for the Italian made CMG machine was aided by the country’s government to the tune of €521,000 (£448,000), after the firm decided it was a better option than obtaining funding through a UK bank.

It has also made additional investments to the tune of £60,000 in a new pallet truck as well as updated blending equipment, used in the blending of colours in materials.

Managing director David Brimelow, who became the company’s majority owner following a buyout in 2009, said Duo is now reaping the rewards of a sustained growth plan.

“After I bought the founder member’s shares, we decided we wanted an identity where we could cut out the middle man,” he said.

Mr Brimelow added: “From week to week and month to month we always move on; we can never stand still.

“When our competitors find out what we are doing, to us that becomes yesterday and after we will go and do something completely different.”

Having announced turnovers of £25m for last year, the company, which also has a plant in Nottingham, is now aiming to become the UK’s largest supplier of polythene solutions.

Duo UK currently supplies delivery bags for Tesco online, Matalan and fashion brand ASOS, for which it pioneered a resealable package to make the return process easier for customers.

The company’s finance director Paul Teasdale said there are plans to invest further in both expanding the facility and increasing headcounts at both sites, which employ 130 staff combined.

He added the company will continue to innovate in order to meet changing consumer demands.

“E-Commerce marketing is very much about design and consumers don’t want plain bags anymore and this means a lot of software investment and flexibility is required on our part to continue to respond,” he said.