Scarlett Hydraulics of Timaru is hoping to secure more work from a Chinese tannery firm, after selling them equipment in a deal worth $1 million.
The company officially opened a new facility on the outskirts of Timaru last week.
Chief executive Shane Brookland says future shipments to China will be smaller, but regular. And he's confident it will lead to further contracts in other countries.
Despite the general economic downturn and a loss of shipping at the port of Timaru affecting its work, Brookland says the company has held on to its workforce.
Mr Brookland says Scarlett, which has been in business for 26 years, is not ruling out buying firms to expand further.