Top Track 250

Dyson is cleaning up in America. In 2003 the bagless-vacuum-cleaner maker had only 5% of the American market and total sales of £277.1m, but a year later that had rocketed to 21%, apparently thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and a series of cameos by Dyson products in television shows such as Friends. As a result, Dyson’s sales are expected to exceed £425m in 2004, and to pass £500m this year. James Dyson says he spent five years in his workshop producing 5,127 prototypes before launching the machine in Japan in 1986. It went on sale in Britain in 1993 and the company says it took less than two years to become the market leader. Although Dyson has outsourced much of its production to Malaysia, the company still employs 1,300 people at its plant at Malmesbury in Wiltshire. Its founder is thought to be worth more than £1 billion.

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Company details
ActivityAppliance manufacturer
Sales £m277.1
Operating profit £m43.2
Main shareholdersJames Dyson and family (100%)

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* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda