Five companies named on export stars list

Five Lancashire companies have been named in the sixth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

International Fast Track 2015The highest ranked is 60th placed Hotter Footwear of Skelmersdale, which increased overseas sales by 50 per cent over the last two years.

Burnley-based bathroom fittings firm Ultra Finishing rose from 140th on last year's list to 115th, while Chorley-based clinical trials specialist Synexus ranked 133rd with internal sales of more than £23m.

Toy manufacturer HTI, of Fleetwood, placed 176th and Evans Vanodine, the chemicals manufacturer from Preston, placed 187th.

The businesses  feature on the league table alongside companies from around the UK, including cheesemaker Wensleydale Dairy Products, architect Zaha Hadid, Oscar-winning visual effects studio Framestore, and Cath Kidston, the homeware and fashion retailer.

There are 27 companies in the North West (compared to 26 last year) and they have made a significant contribution to the regional economy over the last two years.

During this time they added 3,030 jobs and now employ a total of 11,090 people. Their international sales have grown by an average of 51% a year over two years to a total of £1.2bn, on combined sales of £2.5bn.

Combined with the northeast and Yorkshire, the fast-growing companies represent a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ that generates £5.2bn in total sales, £2.3bn in exports, employs 25,160 people, and accounts for almost a quarter of the league table (47 firms).

The International Track 200 is sponsored by HSBC and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company.

Amanda Murphy, UK head of corporate banking at HSBC, commented: “The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 is a great reflection of the value of building connections overseas. The world is getting smaller, and international business relationships are easier to build, providing ambitious businesses with many more opportunities to grow. I'm delighted to see so many great British mid-sized firms making such a strong impression on the world stage." The full listing will be published in the Sunday Times this weekend.