Fife paper firm Tullis Russell targets global growth

Tullis Russell paper mill, Markinch Tullis Russell has three major manufacturing plants, including one in Fife

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Fife-based paper maker Tullis Russell is to press ahead with global expansion plans after securing a £7.5m three-year financing package from Lloyds Bank.

The employee-owned group said it was seeking to "steadily increase" its current annual turnover of £166m.

It aims to target core markets in Europe and secure more business in the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The group employs 730 staff at sites in the UK and South Korea.

Chief executive Chris Parr said the financing package had given the group the financial stability to move forward, following challenging years for the company and the industry as a whole.

He added: "The global economic conditions during the last four years have been extraordinary by any standard, yet we have managed to navigate these conditions better than most in our sector where we are respected for the long-term partnerships we have with our customers and suppliers and for the stability and trust that our employee-owned structure provides."

Another challenge which the company has overcome was a fire which caused more than £1m worth of damage at its Fife paper mill last December.

Biomass plant

The Tullis Russell Group was founded in 1809 and has manufacturing facilities at Markinch in Glenrothes, Bollington in England and Ansan in South Korea.

A combined heat and power biomass plant is due to be brought into production at Markinch in the middle of next year.

The company said the move would secure "a long-term and cost effective source of green energy", while reducing CO2 emissions by 72%.

Tullis Russell was a family business until 1994, when it became an employee-owned organisation.

A total of 70% of its ordinary shares are owned by employee ownership trusts, with the balance being held by a charitable family trust.

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