A PLASTICS company has reported increased sales helped by a strong January.

Victrex, which has a plant at Seal Sands, near Billingham, says sales for the first quarter to December 31 were six per cent higher than the same period last year.

Bosses said sales hit 679 tonnes in the quarter, up from 640 tonnes, with January sales already in excess of 330 tonnes.

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The firm's plastic products are used in a number of sectors, including resins and coatings for aerospace equipment, and substitutes for metal in gears across the automotive sector.

Anita Frew, Victrex chairman, said: “We have made an encouraging start to 2014, with first quarter performance ahead of the prior year and continuing our momentum from the second half of 2013.

“Although it remains early in our new financial year, and our expectations are unchanged, we remain encouraged by the potential across our business.”

The company has headquarters near Blackpool, with international sites in Germany, Hong Kong, the US and Japan.