Two Northern Ireland firms on league table of fastest-growing international sales stars

Decora Blinds in Lisburn

TWO firms from the north - Decora and Uform - are included in the 12th annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks the UK's mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

They have grown their combined international sales by an average of 40 per cent a year over the last two years to a total of £28 million, both are profitable, and together they employ 1,500 people.

Blind manufacturer Decora in Lisburn (74th on the list) achieved record sales in August and September last year as demand for home improvement surged during the pandemic.

It manufactures 30,000 blinds a week, which it sells to retailers across Europe. Exports grew an average of 51 per cent per year over its last two years, to hit £14.7m in 2019, on total sales of £87.8m.

Toomebridge-based home to kitchen door supplier Uform, which features on the list for a second consecutive year, hired staff to meet increased demand during the pandemic. Its international sales grew 28 per cent a year, reaching £13.6m in 2020, on total sales of £36.6m.

The companies in Northern Ireland appear alongside well-known UK brands including Sweaty Betty, the women's activewear brand sold in 195 countries; BrewDog, which was valued at £1bn in 2017 and now has 100 bars worldwide; and Brompton, the bicycle manufacturer, which ships to 47 markets.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said: “After a challenging start to 2021, all eyes are on the companies that will drive a return to growth in 2021.

“We are confident that the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of businesses such as those in Northern Ireland listed on International Track 200 will carry them forward.

“These companies show the strength, ambition and resilience of businesses across the UK and are the sort of businesses we are proud to support every day.”

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