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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 12:14 GMT
Rate cut could drive bike company
Ian Wetherill of Hope Technology
The firm is up against many challengers from Taiwan
Cutting a quarter point off interest rates to 5.25% may see more weakening of the pound against other currencies.

That could be good news for exporting firms such as Hope Technology, which makes parts for mountain bikes such as disc brakes, wheels and seat posts.

The Lancashire firm is challenging for a stake in a market dominated by Asia.

"Sales in Europe have increased 30% in the past 12 months, and the exchange rate is helping push it along," says Hope's co-founder Ian Weatherill.

The company now exports to 26 countries, with France and Germany key markets for them.

'Perpetual' cycle

"We're the only company outside of Taiwan making disc brakes for bikes," says Mr Weatherill.

The former aerospace engineer started the business in 1989 after deciding the brakes on his mountain bike were not good enough.

Everything is made in their Barnoldswick factory on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

Blocks of aluminium go in, and out come boxed bike components with a price tag that can be in the hundreds of pounds.

And that pound price tag is proving a boon for the company at the moment, says Mr Weatherill.

"The extra sales we get thanks to the exchange rate enables us to get more money to invest in machinery and staff, so we can make more product - it's a perpetual thing."

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