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Former Yorkshire coalminer James Heselden’s first big contract was to supply the MoD with his innovative steel mesh sandbag replacements during the first Gulf war; since then HESCO Bastion’s patented Concertainer units have been used for military operations in Bosnia to flood barriers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Used to build defensive walls, guard border checkpoints and aid flood protection and erosion control, the company has expanded into products including temporary refugee shelters for humanitarian aid sites. Sales at the Leeds based company increased 141% to £196.5m in 2008.

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Company details
CompanyHESCO Bastion
ActivityDefence barrier maker
Sales £m196.5
Operating profit £m25.3
Main shareholdersJames Heselden (100%)

If applicable:

* supplied by company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda