Six firms make Sunday Times international list

Six Lancashire companies have earned places on the league table of Britain's fastest-growing international sales stars.

FT badges 19 April 2012The fifth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

The highest ranked, 13th across the whole of the UK, is Hotter Comfort Concept. The Skelmersdale footwear manufacturer responded to an increase in demand for comfortable shoes in America to increase export sales by 110%.

Blackburn's Vision Support Services increased exports by 81% and placed 26th. The firm supplies linen to some of the world's most famous hotels, including the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Chorley-based clinical trials manager Synexus, which operates 19 research centres across Germany, Eastern Europe and South Africa, ranked 69th.

Blackpool's Tangerine Confectionery rose from 178th on last year's list to 88th, on the back of 3m Sherbert fountains exported to Australia every year. Burnley's Ultra Finishing placed 140th after buying two Chinese bathroom product manufacturers in 2012, and Hall's Toys of Fleetwood ranked 169th.

The International Track 200 companies increased their overseas sales by an average of 36% a year over two years to a total of £8.5bn. They employ more than 191,000 staff, having added more than 34,000 jobs during this time, some as a result of acquisitions.

The majority of the companies on the league table are headquartered in London (62), the north west (26), the south east (25), the north east and Yorkshire (22), the Midlands (21) and Scotland (21). Of the remainder, 11 are based in the south west, eight in the East and four in Wales. The full league table is published in an eight-page supplement with the business section of The Sunday Times on July 13.