New jobs are on the horizon at a Saltaire company which has clinched a major sales deal with IT giant IBM in the United States which is set to boost its turnover by up to £4 million a year.
The deal could see up to half a dozen jobs created at the Europlus Direct offices in Salts Mill where 33 staff work. The company, which won a Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2008, has been awarded tier one business partner status by IBM, meaning it can operate directly on behalf of IBM rather than through distributors.
Europlus Direct this week opened a sales office in Tampa, Florida, employing two staff to pursue opportunities across the US. New sales jobs will also follow at Saltaire from where it operates as an outsourced supplier of service contracts for IBM, which only deals directly with major corporations.
Europlus Direct increased turnover from £5.4 million to £7.2 million over the past year.
Europlus and its sister company One Global, a marketing, website development and language translation business, now operate in 90 countries and employs 40 people.
Founder and chief executive Jim Hart said: “We’ve been trying for about six years to break into the United States market and this deal is a major boost for the business.
“It will allow our global customers to buy IBM maintenance services in the US at a competitive market price.
“We estimate the US market will be a similar size to our work in Europe so it should eventually be worth around £4milton a year to us.
“In Europe we have seen an increase of over 20 per cent in sales and our African operation based in Mauritius, which includes distribution of IBM parts, has grown at over 50 per cent over the last year. In 2013 we expect to hit between £8 million and £9 million of total turnover”
Mr Hart is also looking at establishing an operation in India which he believes offers opportunities.
Mr Hart launched Europlus Director after being made redundant in 2004, initially to sell IBM support services in France.
Within three years, the company achieved the Queen’s Award after growing export sales by 610 per cent to £2 million within three years.
The company has offices in Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Congo and South Africa.
Multi-lingual Mr Hart followed his IBM-based operation by launching The European Marketing Agency renamed One Global last year.