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Zumtobel invests £28 million in UK plant

© Zumtobel
26. November 2007

The Austrian Zumtobel Group, owner of the Thorn Lighting plant in Spennymoor, is investing £28 million there to move its manufacturing up market. 

The UK-based lighting manufacturer Thorn, a brand of the Austrian Zumtobel Group, is building a new production facility in Spennymoor in the north east of England. Work has already begun on the 40,000 sqm lighting factory at the Green Lane Industrial Estate, where the new plant is to be based. Production is scheduled to transfer from the existing site in nearby Merrington Lane, which Thorn has occupied since the early fifties, in Autumn 2008.

This aligns well with the Zumtobel Group's strategy of locating production of around 50% of its total output in the Group's core Western European markets. CEO Andreas Ludwig emphasised the importance of the project to the whole Group: "This plant will make it possible for Zumtobel to manufacture on-site in the Group’s largest single market with modern, efficient and flexible facilities. It represents our greatest operational challenge for the coming year, underlines our commitment to the UK and supports our strategy of retaining production as close to the customer as possible”.

When completed, the £28m development, will build the basis of a strong future for both Thorn, and its sister company TridonicAtco, which produces lighting components at Spennymoor. The state-of-the-art facility will include an additional investment of £1.3m in the Thorn brand for establishing an Academy of Light – a training centre for customers and employees from around Europe.

The Thorn Brand

Thorn, founded by Jules Thorn in 1928, is now a leading high-quality supplier of professional indoor and outdoor lighting. Thorn’s portfolio is marketed via electrical wholesalers and project business, and its key target customers are electricians, lighting designers, architects and local authorities. The brand delivers technical innovations to broad-based target groups, and stands for reliability, outstanding customer service, high functionality and technologically advanced design.

In 2000, Thorn was taken over by the Austrian lighting enterprise, Zumtobel Group. Today the Group is represented in the international luminaire business by its two brands, Zumtobel and Thorn, together with its lighting components business TridonicAtco. Consolidated sales for the Zumtobel Group, which also includes an emerging LED business, totalled EUR 1,234 million for the 2006/07 financial year, a growth of 5.6%. The company, based in Dornbirn, western Austria, saw its net profit for the year more than double, rising to EUR 103.6 million from EUR 49.5 million in the previous year. 

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