A HEARING aid battery manufacturer has kicked off the new year in style after winning a string of business awards.

Washington-based Rayovac was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the second year in a row by Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear Fred Hoult when he visited the plant for a tour.

The firm received the award in the International Trade category in recognition of its achievements in overseas markets, where it has continually grown sales over recent years.

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The company, a division of the US-based Spectrum Brands, is the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling hearing aid battery and exports to countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia from its Wearside facility.

The North-East company has also won the North-East Outstanding Export Award at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2012 and Eco-Product of the Year for its mercury-free hearing aid batteries at the 2012 In Business Sustainability Awards.

The company’s divisional vice president, Vince Armitage, said: “We’ve had an impressive run of success in recent months. It’s an honour to receive each and every one of these awards and is a testament to the company and the fantastic team we have in Washington.

“To win the Queen’s Award not once but twice is a major achievement and it’s fantastic that our efforts have also been recognised by other organisations and industry bodies.

“We have made significant investment in our manufacturing capability as the market and demand for our products continues to grow. We hope to build on these successes in 2013.”