Gerry O’Reilly, Corproate Finance Partner
As businesses move into action mode I was fortunate to hear the experiences and strategies of Kevin O’Connor of Colourtrend at the Irish Exporters Association/Investec at the Top 150 Born in Ireland 2016 (pdf) Dublin Roundtable: Boosting Irish Business in the face of Brexit.
Colourtrend is a second generation Irish company making and selling paints. Their selling points are focussed on being technical brilliant (Durable) and colours based on the Irish Lansdcape and Environment.
Kevin readily admits that he was very focussed on UK. Why look further afield when you have a large market on your doorstep?
Brexit and his response is a case study in the practical.
- Brand. The investment in the brand has created a price premium in the consumer and critically buyers within the multiples. Extra margin plus an ability to pass on the difference in Sterling price
- Natural hedge. Buy more in sterling. He has looked at suppliers and switched some to sterling
- Diversify. US and China are looking very promising and Brexit has been the stimulus to more seriously look to reach beyond UK
- Don’t Panic says Kevin! We have been here before and we have the flexibility to respond. It will be challenging but if we remain flexible we can survive and thrive.
Other markets mentioned by other participants where they are open to new product and where language is less of a barrier where Scandanavia, Baltics, Eastern Europe and Germany.