With almost £900m of its £1.5bn in sales generated overseas, shoemaker Clarks has come a long way since it started in 1825 in Street, a small village in Somerset. Still headquartered there and overseen by executive chairman Thomas O’Neill, 64, the company has 1,500 stores in more than 35 countries, with ambitious expansion plans in India and China. Melissa Potter, who was chief executive, stepped down last year after profits dropped 47% to £104m.

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Company details
Year2016
Rank30
CompanyClarks
ActivityShoe retailer and wholesaler
LocationSomerset
Sales £m1,534
Profit £m86
Year endJan 16
Principal shareholdersClark family (84%), employees and institutions (16%)
Staff15,379
Founded1825
Websitewww.clarks.co.uk

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure