Six companies in the South West win places on league table of Britain's fastest-growing SME exporters.
Published this weekend, the 2nd annual Sunday Times Heathrow SME Export Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with the fastest-growing international sales. The six companies headquartered in the southwest of England (the same number as last year) include four new entrants to the league table. They have made a strong contribution to the local economy. Their international sales have grown by an average of 130% a year over the last two years to a total of £43m and together they now employ 440 people.
Among the new entrants in the region is Gloucester-based Helipebs Controls. Its hydraulic and pneumatic parts have a range of applications, from medical syringes to cylinders for subsea energy generation, and its exports of £2.8m last year came from customers in Norway, Brazil and Nigeria.
Another new entrant is Totnes-based Red Paddle Co, which sells inflatables, boards and accessories in more than 58 countries and says it has an 18% share of the global market for inflatable paddleboards. Strong demand in the US and Europe helped exports to £4.3m in 2015. The companies in the southwest appear with businesses from around the UK, including knitwear retailer Wool Overs, laser technology specialist Laser Quantum and online pharmacy Chemist 4 U.
The league table reflects the importance of Europe to Britain’s SME exporters, with 80 of the companies selling to the continent, the most popular market, followed by North America (71) and Asia (45).