Barry company secures major export deal to supply breathalyzers to Finland
Lion Laboratories, based in Barry, is set to supply 250 portable infrared breathalyzers for use by Finnish police, border guards and prison services. As well as supplying the devices, the deal will also see the company help with their deployment and provide comprehensive technical training to law enforcement teams nationwide.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething visited Barry’s head office today to congratulate the company on its success and urged more Welsh businesses to consider exporting.
The agreement with Finland is the latest in a series of international contracts won by Lion Labs, which already exports to more than seventy countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia. .
Its products are widely used by police forces around the world, including the UK, Denmark, Malaysia, Thailand, Oman, Switzerland, Namibia and Australia.
The announcement comes as Lion Laboratories has also appointed new distributors in France, Spain and Austria over the past 12 months as part of plans to expand its presence in Europe.
International sales currently account for 70% of Lion Laboratories’ trade and its efforts to secure new overseas contracts are part of broader plans to bring its export business back to pre-pandemic levels of 85%.
Martin Slade, Sales Manager at Lion Laboratories, said:
“Exporting is extremely important to us, both for our security and for our growth. This ensures that we are not solely dependent on one market and, by covering a wide range of countries, expands our trading opportunities and protects us in the event of a regional downturn.
“At the same time, working with a range of countries helps us to continually improve our products as they are developed to meet various international requirements, rather than being designed for a small number of specific markets.
Established in 1967, Lion Laboratories was founded by Welsh scientist Dr Tom Parry Jones, who revolutionized road safety with the invention of the original electrochemical breathalyzer. Since then, the company has grown to become a global expert in the field of breath alcohol testing with its range of instruments helping to prosecute millions of drunk drivers around the world. .
Lion Laboratories is currently preparing to participate in several tenders with police forces in other export territories as it continues to meet market needs.
Martin believes that a key driver of Lion Laboratories’ export success and growth over the past ten years has been the support of the Welsh Government, which has provided comprehensive market research into new territories and helped l company to participate in trade missions.
“The Welsh Government have been extremely supportive in helping us make key contacts overseas which has directly led to new business. They have helped us attend trade shows to network and communicate with customers and distributors potentials, helped us contact British embassies overseas and introduced us to relationships in several regions including Germany, Austria and Spain, which resulted in establishing new routes to the market.
“During his visit to Wales in December 2021, the Hungarian Ambassador visited Lion Laboratories at our Barry facility. This was organized and arranged by the Welsh government and also opened talks for potential business there.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“I am truly delighted that the Welsh Government was able to help Lion Labs win this important order from the Finnish Government.
“Exporting is great for business, and this is another great example of a Welsh exporting success story.
“Our export action plan aims to help more businesses in Wales export their goods and services to new international markets and create more jobs here in Wales.