Unicorn Flooring wins Queen’s Award for Export

Unicorn Group managing director Roger Pannell
Unicorn Group managing director Roger Pannell

Lisburn based Unicorn Flooring has become the latest Northern Ireland to be recognised for its export achievement in the latest Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The firm is Europe’s largest manufacturer of PVC interlocking floor tiles for both the industrial and commercial sectors and exports around the world.

The awards are seen as the UK’s most prestigious business accolades, recognising and celebrating business excellence across the UK.

Unicorn Flooring demonstrated outstanding growth in overseas sales with steep year-on-year increases over 3 years.

The Unicorn Group as a whole employs 92 staff whilst Unicorn Flooring manufactures and markets the world’s largest range of PVC interlocking flooring solutions under the brand names Flexi-Tile and Ecoloc.

“I am delighted Unicorn Flooring has been recognised by the Queen’s Award for International Trade,” said MD Roger Pannell.

“We have made great strides to improve our brand and product recognition globally and the results are evident with entry into 13 new markets in the last three years.

“I want to thank our excellent staff right across the business for all their efforts growing our sales globally including production, accounts, customer service and stores a who all play a vital role in supporting our sales team.”

The group’s export strategy focuses on three strategic elements; expanding and growing existing distributors, exploring new markets and product diversification resulting in overseas sales increase of 141% over the last three years.

More than 90% of its products are exported across 29 non-UK markets including the Nordics, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Dubai, Hungary and Portugal.

The company already exports to Australia and USA and has identified these markets as huge potential for future growth.

In 2016, it acquired an established interlocking flooring company in Belgium, transferring production from a facility in Spain to Northern Ireland and its growth trajectory led the group to decide to make a major investment and move its existing manufacturing sites in Lisburn and Markethill to the former Coca-Cola site in Lambeg comprising industrial, storage and office facilities totalling 17.5 acres.