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Celebrating the fantastic achievements of some of our top businesses - from the smallest to the largest; REMARKABLE ENTERPRISES RECOGNISED WITH AWARDS.

Byline: RHODRI EVANS Assistant Business Editor rhodri.evans@walesonline.co.uk

THE best in Welsh business has been celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony at Cardiff's City Hall.

Winners in nine categories were announced at the event, presented by economics media commentator Faisal Islam, and sponsored by business advisory firm PwC.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by We Fight Any Claim, went to chief executive of point-of-care diagnostics business, EKF Diagnostics, Julian Baines.

Penarth-born Mr Baines has had a remarkable business career to date with a strong track record in building businesses of scale and quality.

He led a management buyout of bitotech business British Biocell International, oversaw its successful flotation on London's Alternative Investment Market, before orchestrating a lucrative exit via an PS85m sale.

He has spent the last three years developing a diagnostics point-of-care business in EKF Diagnostics, which as well as organic growth has made a string of acquisitions globally.

The aim is to grow Penarth headquartered EKF into a PS250m market capitalisation businesses and become Wales' best performing plc.

The Company of the Year (turnover of more than PS10m), sponsored by Cardiff School of Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, went to IQE. Stock market-listed IQE is a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications within the wireless, photovoltaic and electronics markets.

Founded in 1988 it has grown organically and by acquisition and now has eight facilities worldwide, with its HQ in Cardiff.

Rob Lewis, chairman, of PwC for Wales and the south-west of England said: "Wales has faced some tough economic challenges in common with other parts of the UK but it is important that as well as recognising the challenges, we also take time out to recognise the fantastic achievements from our smallest businesses through to large multi-national organisations."

IWA chairman Geraint Talfan Davies added: "Despite the current difficult economic climate, Wales remains an integral part of the seventh largest economy in the world, with all the achievement and opportunity that implies."

THE WINNERS COMPANY OF THE YEAR, TURNOVER LESS THAN PS10M sponsored by ACCA Wales, Comtek Network Systems UK; NEW START UP COMPANY OF THE YEAR sponsored by Gocompare.com, Hydro Industries; GO GREEN ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD sponsored by the Waterloo Foundation, Nuaire; CREATIVE MARKETING AWARD sponsored by Orchard Media and Events Group, Peter's Foods; THE BEST USE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES IN BUSINESS AWARD sponsored by CILT Cymru, The National Centre for Languages in Wales, Eriez Magnetics Europe; TRAINING & DEVELOPING STAFF AWARD sponsored by University of Glamorgan Commercial Services, Arriva Trains Wales; YOUNG ACHIEVER sponsored by RWE npower renewables. Dale Williams founder of Yolk Recruitment; ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR sponsored by We Fight Any Claim.com, Julian Baines chief executive of EKF Diagnostics; and COMPANY OF THE YEAR TURNOVER OF MORE THAN PS10M sponsored by Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, IQE.

CAPTION(S):

Winner of Company of the Year > PS10m Award, sponsored by Cardiff School of Management Cardiff Metropolitan University is IQE. Drew Nelson (right) and Phil Rasmussen of IQE

Winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by We Fight Any Claim.com, Julian Baines CEO of EKF Diagnotiscs

Winner of the Creative Marketing Award, sponsored by Orchard Media & Events Group Ltd, Peter''s Foods. Pictured is Clare Morgan marketing controller

Winner of the Young Achiever sponsored by RWE npower renawables is Dale Williams of Yolk Recruitment

Best Use of Foreign Languages winner is Eriez , sponsored by by CILT Cymru , the National Centre for Languages in Wales. Sarah Grain of Eriez is pictured above

Winner of Training & Development Staff Award is Arriva Trains Wales , sponsored by University of Glamorgan Commercial Services . Pictured are Liz Prince and Lynne Mulligan of Arriva Wales

Winner of Company of the Year PS10m is Comtek Network Systems UK. Pictured are Christine Sheibani and Askar Sheibani of Comtek

Winner of the New Start Up Company of the Year sponsored by Gocompare.com is Hydro Industries. Philip Morgan (left) and Wayne Preece pictured with Hayley Parsons of Gocompare

Winner of the Go Green Environmental Award sponsored by The Waterloo Foundation, is Nuaire. Pictured are Alun Jones, Steven Carroll and Stephen Flood of Nuaire

The scene at City Hall, Cardiff, during the IWA and Western Mail business awards

Pictures by Peter Bolter
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 14, 2012
Words:711
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