Three award-winning companies in Kirklees and Calderdale are among the UK’s top exporters.
Elland safety barrier manufacturer A-Safe , Waterloo-based specialist Principle Group and Mirfield textile firm John Cotton are three of only six Yorkshire businesses to appear in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table ranking Britain’s mid-sized private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
A-Safe, a winner of the Queen’s Award for International Trade, features for the second year running. The company supplies polymer safety barrier systems for factories, warehouse, car parks and more than 30 international airports. Customers also include Nestlé and Heineken.
The firm, led by brothers Luke and James Smith , was ranked 59th overall having grown annual export sales by an average of 68% over two years to £36.3m.
A-Safe, which employs more than 300 people at Ainleys Industrial Estate, has total sales of £44.6m and 14 offices overseas.
Principle Group, based at Tandem Industrial Estate, carries out branding work for clients including HSBC, Barclays, Jaguar Land Rover, Sky, BMW and AT&T. It is ranked 95th on the UK list after a 50% rise in overseas sales to £106m.
The company, International Business of the Year at last year’s Examiner Business Awards and another Queen’s Award winner, employs 460 people and has total sales of £154.3m. It acquired an Italian firm, Underline, last year to boost its international presence further.
John Cotton , which has more than 1,200 staff and was Business of the Year at the 2016 Examiner Business Awards, is ranked 181st after increasing international sales by 29% to £31.1m. The firm, based at Nunbrook Mills, Mirfield, also has sites at Ravensthorpe and Bradford and manufactures bedding under brand names including Slumberdown and Snuggledown. Total sales were £180.5m.
John Cotton, led by chairman John Cotton and joint managing directors Mark Cotton and David Cruddos, added to its overseas armoury with last year’s takeover of Australian pillow and duvet manufacturer Tontine.
Yorkshire’s six of the best also included pest control business Pelsis, based at Knaresborough; consumer goods supplier Pricecheck, of Sheffield; and recycling specialist Leo Group, based in Halifax.
Together, the six companies based in Yorkshire have increased international sales by an average of 74% a year over the last two years to a total of £301m and employ 2,800 people.
Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC, said: “The six companies in Yorkshire are putting the county firmly on the map. They are the kinds of enterprises we are thrilled to support and that provide the backbone of our economy, today and tomorrow.”