The latest International Track 200 findings

13th February 2020

Our 11th Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, published in The Sunday Times today and here on our website, identifies the UK’s mid-market private businesses with the fastest-growing overseas sales. They have recorded average exports growth of between 29% and 412% p.a. over the last two years to a total of £10.3bn. For detailed findings download our research report 

 

Click image to view full supplement

 

From aerospace parts and luxury yachts, to organic cutlery and digital marketing, British products and services are in strong demand across the globe. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the private companies on this year’s league table are clocking up impressive export figures.

The minimum average growth rate to achieve a place was 29% p.a. — just short of last year’s record high, and almost double that required to feature on the table in 2017. There were 28 companies with triple-digit growth, and online retailer The Hut Group had the highest international sales on this year’s table at £608m. The 200 companies employed 124,000 people, having added 38,000 jobs over the same period. To find out more, view the full supplement.

 

Top of the league

The number one company, London-based corporate travel specialist Reed & Mackay, has developed an online booking portal and mobile app to help companies arrange travel for employees. It also calculates the carbon footprint of trips and will display it alongside prices at the time of booking so clients can choose the greenest travel options. New offices in financial hubs such as Dubai, Frankfurt and Singapore have helped its overseas sales rocket 412% a year, from £626k in 2017 to £16.4m in 2019, on total sales of £71.9m.

The company was founded in 1962 by father-and-son team Bob and David Boardman as an onsite travel agent within a London insurance firm. It is now led by chief executive Fred Stratford, 56, employs 1,000 staff, and is backed by private equity firm Inflexion.

 

Focus: Trading in America

America is the world’s largest economy and Britain’s biggest single trading partner. It is also the most popular country for overseas sales among International Track 200 companies, with 118 firms citing it as a major market. It is the top choice for future growth, with 117 planning to expand there.

Examples of companies trading successfully in America include Ambassador Theatre Group (No 157), which operates venues from Broadway to New Orleans, and Coventry-based Nasmyth Group, (No 154 – pictured), which makes components for the aerospace, defence and energy sectors and has opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in California.

 

Brexit survey

Fast Track conducted a survey during the research period (August – December 2019) asking the companies about the overall impact the Brexit vote has had on their business. This is the fourth year that the survey has been conducted.

  • The majority (52%, down from 57% last year) said the vote has had no, or a neutral, impact on their business
  • 41%, up from 34%, said the vote has had a negative effect on their business
  • 7%, down from 9%, said the vote has had a positive influence on their business

 

Detailed research findings 

Detailed findings are covered in our 33-page research report — please click to download.

 

Alumni companies

In the 11 years since its inception, International Track has featured more than 1,000 companies, many of whom are household names – including Caffè NeroSpecsavers, and Dr Martens – which featured on the first league table in 2013 with international sales of £100m and has grown them to £351m in 2019.

Some went on to float on the stock market. Markit featured in 2013 with overseas sales of £251m; floated on Nasdaq in 2014 valued at $4bn; then merged with IHS in 2016 and is now worth $32bn. The Watches of Switzerland Group, which featured in 2018, floated last year valued at £647m and is now valued at £934m.

 

National awards dinner

We look forward to welcoming the founders and directors of the International Track 200 companies to April’s invitation-only networking awards dinner.

Our keynote speakers are Clare Gilmartin, chief executive of Trainline, the rail and coach travel platform which operates in 45 countries, and Neil Simpson, chief financial officer of BrewDog, the Scottish brewer which has featured on International Track for the last six consecutive years.

See last year’s event video.

 

Our sponsors

Recognising the achievements of all these companies is made possible by our sponsors: HSBC, our title sponsor for all 11 years, DHL Express, and Oracle NetSuite.

For opportunities to meet and build relationships with the founders and directors of Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, contact us about becoming an awards dinner sponsor for International Track 200.

 

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