A SOUTH Somerset firm that specialises in producing healthcare products is celebrating after officially receiving its Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Probiotics International Ltd (Protexin), based in Lopen Head, held a ceremony at the firm’s headquarters to receive the award from the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset Anne Maw, on behalf of the Queen.

The firm, which employs more than 130 people, was given the award earlier this year as recognition for its achievements in international trade, and it is the second time in five years the company has been given the prestigious award.

Toby Lewis, managing director of the company, said: “Winning a Queen’s Award in 2011 was an honour for the company.

“To be recognised for a second time in 2016 really is exceptional.

“It is testimony to the hard work of everyone within the company over the past five years who have helped to ensure our business continues to thrive.

“We now have more than 130 employees within the company, many from local surrounding areas, and we are proud to continue to be a shining light for employment in the area.”

The company manufactures healthcare products for human, veterinary, equine and agricultural markets, selling its products all over the world, and is globally registered.

Since Protexin won the award for the first time in 2011, it has gone from strength to strength, recording impressive and substantial commercial growth and seeing export sales triple.

During this time export sales have tripled and International Trade accounts for 60 per cent of Protexin’s business across more than 80 countries.

At the ceremony, which took place on Wednesday last week, Mrs Maw presented a glass bowl to the staff, and also read out a citation from Her Majesty.

Mrs Maw added: “You should be proud of your achievements as a company.”

The ceremony was another high point for the company, after it also received a “Best Company” to work for accreditation, maintaining its two star rating in the judging process.

John Melling, chairman of the company, praised the staff and the management for its ongoing success.

He said: “Although it had been a challenging year, I am proud that the company has achieved not only the Queen’s Award, but has once again achieved a 2* accreditation from Best Companies 2017.”