Yorkshire companies named in SME Export Track 100

Eight Yorkshire companies have been highlighted in the Sunday imes WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 league table.

The list ranks Britain’s top private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, and includes seven new entrants for Yorkshire this year.

This year, despite the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU, Europe continues to be the most important overseas market with more than four fifths of the companies reseached selling to Europe.

Combined, the Yorkshire region’s exporters have seen international sales grow by an average of 106% a year over two years to a total of £61m, and together they employ 829 people.

The region’s top-ranked company is Middlesbrough-based Lusso Stone, which sells luxury bathroom fittings, selling to the likes of Claridge’s in Mayfair and the Sugar Beach Residences in St Lucia.

International sales grew 207% a year to £1.6m in 2018 after opening a US office, and the company ranks sixth in the UK for international growth.

Second on the list is the Wilton Group. Based in Middlesborough, the specialist engineer saw international sales grow to £14m, a rise of 138%. This was a result of the manufacture and export of more than 7,000 tons of offshore wind turbine equipment for German client SteelWind.

Knaresborough furniture designer and manufacturer naughtone has supplied the likes of Google, Twitter and LinkedIn offices globally. According to the company, international sales grew to £16.1m, up 90%.

Sheffield-based Twinkl, which produces educational material such as worksheets, videos and activity packs, came in second in the region. Its products are available in 20 languages, and its content has been downloaded by customers in 175 countries. Last year, international sales hit £2.6m, representing 96% growth in two years.

Wakefield events company C2 Events has delivered meetings and conferences in 60 destinations across 25 countries, and saw sales grow 108% to £5.8m on the back of this work.

Burton Plant Hire, based in Bradford, exports machinery as far as Tobago, and saw a rise in international sales by 89% to £7.0m.

Bringing up the rear was Shipley-based BTL Group, a software provider, and machine manufacturer LBBC Group which saw their international sales grow by 74% and 50% respectively.

The SME Export Track 100 is sponsored by WorldFirst, DHL Express and Heathrow Airport, and is supported by the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. It is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Jonathan Quin, CEO and co-founder at WorldFirst, the title sponsor, commented:“At WorldFirst we’d like to be the first to congratulate all the businesses that feature on this year’s top 100.

“International markets present tremendous opportunities for UK businesses and the rewards of being a successful exporter are clear from the growth demonstrated by all the businesses here.

“That said, there are challenges and risks too and so we should also recognise the brave and committed leadership that has got them to this point.”

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