AES Engineering, the mechancial seal manufacturer, looked dead in the water in 1981 when its American distributor walked away from the deal. Vowing never to be wholly reliant on a third party again, owner Chris Rea decided to go it alone and acquired a small machine shop. Fast-forward to 2007 and AES is a company that’s achieved an unbroken track record of turnover and profit growth during the last 25 years. In 2006, AES recorded sales of £62m and profits that are a shade above £6m. It’s now the fourth-largest manufacturer in its market in the world. Click here to read more than 30 other stories of entrepreneurial heroism in this year’s shortlist for the Growing Business Awards.
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