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Rabu, 24 November 2010

Soap to be slow-owned superstar Dato Siti Nurhaliza

The new products will be implemented simply siti

A toiletries manufacturer has won a contract worth up to £5 million a year to create a range of products for a Malaysian superstar.

Standard Soap, of Ashby, will make luxury body lotion, shampoo and antiperspirant, as well as a host of other toiletries, for singer Siti Nurhaliza's Simply Siti range.

The contract, along with two other orders, is a major boost to the company's bid to more than double turnover to up to £35 million over the next five years. The company also plans to create 20 to 30 jobs by the end of 2012.

Chief executive Jean-Louis Couzet said the Simply Siti deal will be worth between £650,000 and £1 million in the first year, and could grow to up to £5 million a year within three to four years. The range is due to be launched in Malaysia in February.

He said Siti and her husband Khalid Mohammed Jiwa had visited the Derby Road factory last week to give the contract final approval.

"Siti wanted to see the company before committing to us," said Mr Couzet. "Her people also did a video of the production process, which will be shown on Malaysian TV. She is a major star in Malaysia and the surrounding region and is known as 'the voice of Asia' ".

He said a condition of the deal was that the factory must be Halal certified, meaning the way the products are produced has to comply with Islamic law. He aims to get certification by the end of the year.

"As far as we know, it will be the only production site in our industry to be Halal certified in Europe," said Mr Couzet. "That gives us a great advantage in the Asian and Middle-Eastern markets."

Appealing to such huge populations will help fuel the company's growth plans. The business made a £10 million turnover last year and is due to raise this to £13 million in the year to the end of September. Next year the aim is £18 million, with up to £35 million planned in 2015.

"There's a limit to the local market, so we need to grow more through exports," said Mr Couzet. "This will probably mean exports grow to around 50 per cent of turnover, compared to the 27 per cent we are planning next year."

These plans will also be further boosted after the company also won a £3.4 million contract with Chinese company China Huishegh to supply 12 million bars of soap, as well as a £250,000 deal with Cata Ventures to provide soap to Nigeria.

Mr Couzet, a turnaround expert, was brought in to run the business two years ago by its Malaysian owner KLK.

He said the Simply Siti contract was won because of his own contacts in Malaysia and not KLK's after a 20-year connection with the country.

The French-born executive said the three deals were the biggest export contracts the firm had secured.

Standard Soap, which employs 170 people, was founded in 1894 and taken over by KLK in 1995. KLK has pumped millions of pounds into the business.

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