Founded in Nottinghamshire in 1902 to supply horsehair, springs and needles to the upholstery trade, Romo has stood the test of time. It is still in the hands of its founding Mould family and now imports soft furnishing fabrics, which it sells on to department stores and furniture manufacturers in the UK and Europe. Chief executive Jonathan Mould attributes the company’s recent growth in profits to its cultivation of lucrative German and Scandinavian markets. This has driven up profits 37% a year, from £1.8m in 1996 to £4.7m in 1999, on sales of £33.8m. Mould also cites Romo’s wide customer base as an important stabilising factor: “No one customer, in the UK or overseas, accounts for more than 2% of our turnover,” he says. “That gives us the strength to withstand market fluctuations.”
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