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Working with Scottish Enterprise over the last 12 years has helped Hydro Group expand its operations and reach valuable new markets.

Hydro Group success with Scottish Enterprise
Strong growth in Asia helped overseas sales reach £4.2 million in 2016

New industries, new markets and larger premises have defined Hydro Group's growth since the company first started receiving our support.   

Formed in 1982, Hydro Group specialises in subsea technologies, designing and manufacturing products for the oil and gas, renewable energy and defence industries. 

How we helped 

Hydro Group has worked with Scottish Enterprise for a number of years, benefiting from a range of services and support including: 

  • Leadership training
  • International trade support
  • Product development support
  • Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) support

We've also supported the company's move to larger premises and the extension of operations into new industry sectors.

And the company continues to gather accolades. In 2017 Hydro Group was named winner of the coveted Company of the Year award by Subsea UK, while its international success has been recognised with a place in the Sunday Times Export Track 100 list of UK SMEs with the fastest growing international sales.

New markets, new contracts

A fantastic journey

We’ve been on a fantastic journey with Scottish Enterprise.  Sometimes when you’re running a business you can feel stuck out on a limb when you’re up against all sorts of problems.  What the account managers at SE are good at is putting you in touch with people who have dealt with similar issues so that you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel.

Doug Whyte, Hydro Group

With our support Hydro Group identified south-east Asia as a potentially lucrative international market. We were able to help the company open an office in Singapore, providing a springboard to increase their operations in the region.

Strong growth in Asia helped overseas sales reach £4.2 million in 2016, with future growth in the region focused on South Korea, Vietnam and China. Expansion elsewhere will be fuelled by a planned Florida office, with a dedicated manufacturing facility for the growing US market.

We offer a wide range support to help companies enter the global marketplace, including the benefits of our fully serviced office facilities in Houston and Singapore to fast-track entry to US and South East Asian markets.

Find out about our market entry support

Hydro Group is also now on track to become one of the first Scottish companies to complete the bronze level of the stringent SC21 supply chain test, a management tool for improvement and efficiency that has already helped the company win two recent defence-related contracts. 

Indeed Hydro Group recently won a £2 million long-term defence contract with BAE Systems to supply parts to the Successor submarine, a relationship with the potential to grow to nearly £10 million with six new submarines currently being built. 

Continued expansion

Hydro Group's workforce almost doubled to over 100 people in the five years up to 2015/16, with ongoing work to increase the size of their premises likely to increase this further.

The company's workload is now split into 40% oil and gas, 40% defence and 20% aerospace, renewable energy and other industries, reflecting Hydro Group's decision to embrace new sectors.

Doug Whyte, managing director of Hydro Group, says of our support for the company: 

"Most businesses are so busy dealing with the daily noise, they forget to think strategically. Scottish Enterprise is always looking at ways to try and improve your business. And it’s not just about the money. In fact, it's least of all about the money, it’s about bringing in other knowledge or experience in another area which would help your business. 

"I’m also a big advocate of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service. We’ve reaped the benefits of what they do in a number of areas. For instance, we spent a lot of time developing our staff and we have a really low staff turnover which is quite unusual in Aberdeen – less than 2.5%. 

"It’s a good investment because if you’re losing 10% of your staff then the cost of recruitment and retraining can be between £85,000 - £90,000 a year which is quite significant."

Find out how to get a manufacturing review for your business

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