A NORTH Yorkshire book and reading related business is venturing into the Chinese market.

Pickering-based IF Plc, which designs and manufactures a wide range of aids for book lovers, already exports more than half of its turnover to 70 countries, and has now appointed overseas trade specialist, Chamber International, to help it develop sales in China.

The firm received its first enquiries from China this year after seeking advice from Chamber International’s China specialist, Matthew Grandage.

As a result, the company, whose products include book holders, bookmarks, reading glasses, magnifiers, sticky notes and reading lights, asked Chamber International to help it develop a strategy for selling to this new market.

IF Plc international sales manager, Isabelle Nourry, said: “Chamber International gave us a lot of advice on best practice when dealing with Chinese companies, including the importance of job titles and friendship building, which was very useful in ensuring that we started correctly.

“We were also informed about operational issues, including how businesses must take care to register their IP in China.

“This information has been crucial for us, as the distributor we have started dealing with in China wanted to register our trademarks there on our behalf.

“If we had allowed them to do so, we would have been at risk of losing rights to our trade name and logo there.

“Sales have started well in China. We hope it will become one of our main markets.”

IF Plc, which was founded in 1996, manufactures its products in China and sells through book, gift and department stores, airlines, opticians and visitor attractions worldwide including Europe, US, Singapore, and Turkey with its most successful product being its Really Tiny Book Light which has just been re-launched.

The company, which has 28 staff, has produced more than 100 items and sold more than 20 million products worldwide with 90 per cent of sales being repeat orders.

The business, which started exporting in 1998, has a £4.5 million turnover, with 54 per cent overseas sales.