Centor makes history at Lord Mayor's Business Awards

16 October 2010

Centor made history last night as the first company ever to not only be a finalist in two categories, but also win two awards at the Brisbane Lord Mayor's Business Awards.

Centor won both the Australia TradeCoast Award for Business Growth and the IBM Award for Business Innovation.

Centor managing director Nigel Spork said unlike many in the building and architecture industry, Centor grew throughout the global financial crisis, while still investing heavily in innovation.

"Centor has proudly been a Brisbane-based company since 1951, and I am thrilled to receive this hometown recognition.

"We have won state, national and international awards, but we feel particularly honoured to have our efforts recognised in the Lord Mayor's Awards as most of our innovation and growth happens right here in Brisbane," Mr Spork said.

"Our commitment to innovation drives our growth, and it is really pleasing that our success has so many flow-through benefits for my hometown."

"Ever since we invented the modern weather-sealed bifold door system in 1998, we have remained committed to innovation, improving people's lifestyles and helping them bring the outside in.

"We sell our systems to 39 countries worldwide, exporting a little bit of Queensland sunshine with every door set we sell.

"Our systems really do improve people's lifestyles and we're delighted our innovations make such a difference in people's homes and lives."

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the key strengths of Brisbane's economy are its diversity, innovation and creativity and the Award winners possess these attributes.

"I would like to congratulate Centor for its continued investment in innovation, solid business growth and providing inspiration to other Brisbane businesses."

The judges were impressed by the innovation displayed at multiple levels throughout the business.

"Great to see innovation demonstrated in Centor's business and product design, which adds value to their clients and ultimately the business," the judges commented.

Mr Spork said Centor's commitment to innovation is good for business, and for Brisbane.

"We invested almost 40,000 hours of research and development into our retractable screen system for bifold doors, and it is now our fastest growing seller."

Mr Spork said Centor reinvests a third of operating profits into R&D, with 15 per cent of all Centor staff worldwide directly involved in product innovation.

"We almost doubled our R&D staff during the global financial crisis, and we are currently hiring more.

"We have 70 Brisbane workers in total, including accounting, research, manufacturing and marketing staff," he said.