Export sales have come to represent nearly 50 percent of sales at Storm DFX, the British company known for its waterproofing and cleaning products for outdoor garments, and the ratio is expected to grow further following the appointment last summer of a dedicated export sales manager, Katy Walker.

Walker, who has spent the last four years on the export front in the drinks industry, is taking over the responsibility for the export market from Timothy George Wilson, who took over Storm in 2004, one year after its foundation. She has already brought in new distribution partners for Storm in Poland and Slovenia, and she is finalizing a contract in Japan.

Storm is already represented in about 30 countries around the world. Its business in both Russia and South Africa is bigger than in the U.K., where it faces strong competition from two longer-established competitors, Nikwax and Granger's. The British market is handled by Matt Graves.

Storm will have booths at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, at Ispo Munich and at Ispo Beijing. It attended the recent European Outdoor Summit in Stockholm, partly on the lookout for distribution partners in other Scandinavian markets besides Sweden, where it already has a presence.

Storm makes many of its products at its own factory in Derbyshire. A sister brand, Mars Care, has a history of more than 100 years and operates mainly in the equestrian, hunting, shooting and fishing markets. Wilson, who bought Mars when he started Storm, plans to revamp it next year.