Andy Gibbons and Paul Potter were chatting over a glass of claret in 1994 when they decided to set up their own company, Claret Civil Engineering. The company started off doing street repairs but has since expanded into many other areas, particularly sewerage and pipeline projects.Using the latest technology, Claret will repair cracked or collapsed pipelines with minimal excavation, putting new pipes into the old. The company, which operates a 24-hour emergency call-out system for faults and prides itself on never saying no to a job, numbers the Ministry of Defence and Transco among its customers. Moving into sea defence and pipeline work has helped Claret expand beyond its Suffolk base to take on work throughout the country, expansion that has driven up sales 84% a year, from £530,000 in 1996 to £3.3m in 1999.
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