Wizard year for ­Merlin Vet Exports in overseas markets

Galashiels-based Merlin Vet Exports are on course to double their sales to £1million this year.

The business has been exporting veterinary supplies to overseas vets, mainly in Hong Kong and Singapore, since 2007.

However, orders have now started coming in from vets in the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Kuwait.

Managing director David Taylor said: “Our clients are attracted by the price and the quality of the pharmaceuticals that we offer.

“All of the drugs are licensed here in the UK, which ensures that they are safe and that they work – in other countries this is not always the case.

“The Far East, in particular, has an appetite for UK-branded products and this extends to our pharmaceuticals.”

The company’s growth has been helped along the way by Business Gateway, who Mr Taylor first approached in 2012 for advice on taking the business to the next level.

He said: “Business Gateway has been fantastic. We approached them because although the business was growing, we were keen to properly focus our export strategy and target new markets in the Far East, such as Singapore and South Korea.

“We were referred to the Scottish Enterprise Smart Exporter Programme and, as a result of this, recently went on a Scottish Development International-funded trip to a trade fair in Singapore, which meant we were able to establish important links over there.”

The firm currently employs four members of staff, including Niki Kinghorn, who began working as a receptionist in a Merlin veterinary surgery 16 years ago before working her way up to deputy managing director.

“We have three members of staff in the UK and another out in Hong Kong, and as well as being managing director, I’m also dispatch manager and head packer – we all pitch in, plus I’m still a practising vet,” said Mr Taylor.

With the business continuing to grow, and plans to target new markets, Mr Taylor is searching for bigger premises from which to be based.