Research report 2019 - Fast Track

 
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
TENTH YEAR

                     Research report 2019
                     Britain's 200 mid-market private companies
                     with the fastest-growing international sales

@ST_FastTrack
#IntTrack200

         years
10       2009-2019

Title sponsor                    Main sponsors
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
International Track 200 research report 2019    i

                                 CONTENTS

                                 INTRODUCTION                                                                   1
                                 Top 10 International Track 200 companies

                                 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                               2
                                 International sales
                                 Key themes

                                 KEY STATISTICS                                                                 3
                                 International sales
                                 Overseas markets                                                                4
                                 Sector breakdown                                                                5
                                 Industry breakdown
                                 Regional breakdown                                                              6
                                 Job creation
                                 Foundation dates
                                 Ownership                                                                       7
                                 External capital
                                 Brexit                                                                          8

                                 TEN YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL TRACK 200                                           9
                                 Stock market flotations
                                 Acquisitions
                                 The first International Track                                                  10
                                 Failures
                                 Sector changes
                                 Alumni companies                                                               11

                                 KEY THEMES & SELECTED COMPANY PROFILES                                         13
                                 Trading in Europe
                                 Trading outside the EU                                                         14
                                    Focus: China                                                                15
                                    Focus: Africa                                                               16
                                 Ecommerce                                                                      17
                                 Product innovation                                                             18
                                 Expansion through technology                                                   19
                                 Growth by acquisition                                                          20
                                 Female founders & leaders                                                      21
                                 British brands                                                                 22

                                 2019 INTERNATIONAL TRACK 200 LEAGUE TABLE                                      23

                                 METHODOLOGY                                                                    31

                                 SUPPORTERS                                                                     32
                                 Media partner
                                 Sponsors                                                                       33

                                 ABOUT FAST TRACK                                                               34
                                 Compiler & publisher
                                 The authors
                                 Fast Track                                                                     35

                                 CONTACT DETAILS                                                                35

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                     fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
International Track 200 research report 2019               1

                                                                           INTRODUCTION
                                                                           This is the 10th year of The Sunday Times HSBC International
                                                                           Track 200, the league table of Britain’s mid-market private
                                                                           companies with the fastest-growing international sales. HSBC is
                                                                           the title sponsor of the league table, and DHL Express and Oracle
                                                                           NetSuite are main sponsors.
                                                                           The International Track 200 ranks the 200 mid-market companies
                                                                           (total sales of £25m+) based on their growth in international sales
                                                                           over the last two years of available data; whereas our SME Export
                                                                           Track 100 ranks companies with sales of less than £25m. However,
                                                                           available data on international sales have limitations [page 31].
                                                                           Despite the backdrop of continuing Brexit-related uncertainty, the
                                                                           growth rate of this year's 200th company at 31%, almost double
                                                                           that of two years ago, is the highest in the league table's history,
This year's No 1 company is fitness clothing retailer Gymshark,
founded in 2012 by Ben Francis in his parents' garage. Its 13
                                                                           demonstrating the continued resilience of British companies
multilingual websites sell to customers in 178 countries                   trading overseas.
                                                                           The average international sales growth over the last two years
                                                                           for the 200 companies was 69% a year, to a total of £14.1bn on
                                                                           combined total sales of £30.9bn. They export to all corners of
                                                                           the globe and employ 140,000 staff, having added 38,000 jobs
                                                                           over the same period.
                                                                           Featured companies include fitness clothing retailer Gymshark
                                                                           (No 1), beauty product retailer Charlotte Tilbury Beauty (No 60),
                                                                           theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (No 88), and brewery
                                                                           Brewdog (No 168).

Top 10 companies on the league table
  Rank                                                                   Annual int'l    Latest      Latest
  2019 Company                                                          sales growth int'l sales total sales
 [2018] Activity                                HQ location         FYE over 2 yrs§       £000        £000 Staff Founded Comment
    1       Gymshark                                                                                                        Queues for its Paris, LA and Toronto pop-up
                                                Solihull          Jul 18     228.06%      *80,958 *103,232    260   2012
  [16]      Fitness clothing retailer                                                                                       shops stretched around street corners

    2       Cult Beauty                                                                                                     Sells cult and up-and-coming beauty
                                                Central London    May 18     206.58%      *35,337   *69,685   108   2008
   [3]      Online beauty retailer                                                                                          brands from around the world

    3       White Light                                                                                                     Designed Discovery Eurosport's TV studios
                                              Southwest London Mar 18        198.42%       12,613    39,311   226   1971
   [6]      Entertainment production supplier                                                                               for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

    4       MiQ                                                                                                             Operates globally from 15 offices in North
                                                Central London    Dec 17     174.74%      121,871   155,876   410   2010
  [10]      Digital marketing agency                                                                                        America, Europe and Asia Pacific

    5       iPulse                                                                                                          Exports to more than 30 countries accounted
                                                Swansea           Dec 17     167.26%       30,945    32,874    39   2002
   [8]      Hair removal technology                                                                                         for 94% of turnover in 2017

            Saville Group                                                                                                   Installs video conferencing technology in
    6                                      York                   Dec 17     166.04%        3,993    42,145   257   1876
            Audiovisual equipment supplier                                                                                  overseas offices of UK-based clients

            High Street TV                                                                                                  Sells household goods and gifts to more
    7                                           Harrogate         Dec 18     164.72%      *16,279   *66,899   115   2008
            TV shopping channel                                                                                             than 80 countries

    8       Carrs Foods                                                                                                     Supplies European bakery products to
                                                Manchester        Dec 17     158.73%       18,991    49,430    23   1986
   [9]      Bakery products provider                                                                                        more than 10,000 stores around the world

            Crep Protect                                                                                                    Has collaborated with the National
    9                                           West London       Feb 18     151.80%       20,192    27,001    25   2012
            Footwear accessories developer                                                                                  Basketball Association in the US

   10       Opus Talent Solutions                                                                                           Its international clients include Uber, Burberry
                                                Bristol           Dec 17     151.64%       26,101    75,951   239   2008
  [14]      Recruitment consultancy                                                                                         and General Electric

§ compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18         * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                                        fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
2     International Track 200 research report 2019

  Growth in international sales                                  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  >200%       2
                                                                 Overview
                                                                 •   This year’s International Track 200 companies increased their
150-200%   8                                                         overseas sales by an average of 69% a year over two years,
                                                                     from a total of £6bn to £14.1bn
100-150%          18
                                                                 •   86% of the companies (171) sell to mainland Europe, making it
 50-100%                                          102                the most popular market, followed by North America (128) and
                                                                     Asia (73)
  25-50%                               70
                                                                 •   The top countries for overseas sales are the US (124 companies),
                                                                     Germany (88), France (65), Ireland (47), the Netherlands (45),
  No. of companies in each range of compound annual                  China (44) and Australia (44)
  growth rate of international sales over latest 2 years
                                                                 •   There are 82 manufacturers, and 56 of these make products in
                                                                     the UK
                                                                 •   Consumer goods is the largest industry (43 companies),
                                                                     followed by technology, media and telecoms (TMT) (39),
  Characteristics of a typical International Track 200 company       business services (34) and food and drink (24)

      International sales
                                                                 Key themes
      Average growth over two years              69% pa          Trading in Europe: Mainland Europe is the most popular region for
      International sales in 2016-18             £70.5m          overseas sales, and a major market for 171 companies [page 13]
      International sales in 2015-16             £30.2m
                                                                 Trading outside the EU: North America (128) and Asia (73) are the
                                                                 most popular regions outside the EU for international sales [page 14]
      Total sales
      Sales in 2017-18                           £154.4m             Focus: China: More than a third of companies (77) consider
      Sales in 2015-16                            £97.0m             it a main or key future market, making the country the second most
                                                                     important source of future overseas sales after the US [page 15]
      Staff
                                                                     Focus: Africa: 14 companies are targeting Africa, including
      Typical number of staff in 2016-18         50-1,000
                                                                     developing markets such as Botswana and Ghana [page 16]
      Typical increase in staff over two years       25%

                                                                 Ecommerce: Excelling at online trade has proved transformative for
      Company characteristics                                    many retailers with 34 ecommerce goods exporters featuring [page 17]
      Region                  London & southeast (110)
      Sector                              Services (93)
                                                                 Product innovation: 70 companies attribute their international
      Founded                                    1996
                                                                 sales growth to investment in new products and R&D [page 18]
      Majority ownership          Entrepreneur and/or
                                           founder (99)          Expansion through technology: International Track 200
      PE/VC, angel or corporate investment           73          companies are investing in new technology to help manage their
                                                                 overseas growth and access new markets [page 19]

                                                                 Growth by acquisition: 57 companies have bought or partnered
                                                                 with other businesses to expand internationally, down slightly on
                                                                 2018 (60 firms), but up on 2017 (46 firms) [page 20]

                                                                 Female founders & leaders: A sixth of league table companies
                                                                 (34) are founded or co-founded by women, or have a woman in a
                                                                 main leadership role [page 21]

                                                                 Brand Britain: Some of Britain’s most recognisable brands are
                                                                 successfully growing their overseas sales, with BrewDog, Charlotte
                                                                 Tilbury and Grenade all making this year’s table [page 22]

  © 2019 International Track 200                                                                                         fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
International Track 200 research report 2019          3

                                                                      KEY STATISTICS
                                                                      International sales
                                                                      •    Companies on the league table are required to have total sales
                                                                           greater than £25m, and have international sales greater than
                                                                           £1m, and to be profitable
                                                                      •    The top-ranked company is fitness clothing retailer Gymshark,
                                                                           headquartered in Solihull. It grew international sales 228% a
                                                                           year, from £7.5m in 2016 to £81m in 2018
    Alexia Inge co-founded Cult Beauty (No 2) in 2008. Its website    •    International sales at the 200th ranked company, pet food
    sells beauty products to Europe and the Middle East, generating
    exports of £35m last year                                              producer MPM Products, grew an average of 31% a year, from
                                                                           £21.2m in 2015 to £36.2m in 2017
                                                                      •     28 companies had triple-digit growth in international sales,
                                                                            including online beauty retailer Cult Beauty (No 2), whose
                                                                            international sales rose an average of 207% a year, from
    Latest total sales                                                      £3.8m in 2016 to £35.3m in 2018; and High Street TV (No 7),
                                                                            which grew overseas sales an average of 165% a year, from
                                                                            £2.3m in 2016 to £16.3m in 2018
   >£100m                                     53
                                                                      •    Online bookmaker bet365 (No 180) had the highest international
  £75-100m         17                                                      sales on the table, at £2.1bn in 2018. It also recorded the biggest
                                                                           absolute increase in international sales, at £945.3m
   £50-75m                                   52
                                                                      •    Combined international sales of the 200 companies were
                                                                           £14.1bn and total sales were £30.9bn
   £25-50m                                                     78
                                                                      •    Average operating profits were £11.4m. The company with the
                                                                           highest profit margin is dispute resolution consultancy Blackrock
    Number of companies in each range                                      Expert Services (No 162), which made an operating profit of
                                                                           £10.6m on total sales of £29.7m in 2017 (a margin of 36%)

    Latest international sales                                        Companies with the largest international sales

   >£100m                     24                                                 Company                                                            Int'l sales
                                                                          Rank                                                          FYE
                                                                                 Activity                                                           £m
£75m-£100m         12                                                            bet365
                                                                          180                                                         Mar 18        2,054
                                                                                 Online bookmaker
£50m-£75m             15                                                         Pentland Group
                                                                          192                                                         Dec 17        1,402
                                                                                 Brand manager and retailer
£25m-£50m                                            49                          Collinson
                                                                          167                                                         Apr 18        674
                                                                                 Benefits and loyalty provider
£10m-£25m                                                     58                 Mace
                                                                          53                                                          Dec 17        665
                                                                                 Construction project manager
 £1m-£10m                                    42                                  The Hut Group
                                                                          63                                                          Dec 17        513
                                                                                 Online retailer

    Number of companies in each range

    © 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                             fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
4      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                                   Overseas markets
                                                                   •   86% of the companies (171) sell to mainland Europe, making it
                                                                       the most popular market, followed by North America (128) and
                                                                       Asia (73), including 44 in China
                                                                   •   69% (137) intend to expand sales to Europe in the future, with
                                                                       North America (120) the next most popular potential market
                                                                       for growth, followed by Asia (98)
                                                                   •   More than half the companies (114) focus their sales on one
                                                                       or two continents. 18 companies have key markets spread
China is a main overseas market for 44 companies, with 63 saying       across four or more continents. For example, CDE Global
it is a top future market (see p.15)                                   (No 169) sells its industrial processing machinery in Europe, the
                                                                       Americas, the Middle East, and Australia, and recently invested
                                                                       in a new US headquarters in Texas
                                                                   •   The top countries for overseas sales are the US (124), Germany
                                                                       (88), France (65), Ireland (47), the Netherlands (45), and China
                                                                       and Australia (44 each)
                                                                   •   80 companies export to or operate in emerging markets†, such
                                                                       as online retailer The Hut Group (No 63), which makes more than
                                                                       10% of its £736m sales in China
                                                                   •   The top countries identified by the companies for future
                                                                       international expansion are the US (109 companies), China (63),
                                                                       Germany (62), France (38), Australia (35) and Ireland (25)

                                                                   † Emerging markets as defined by the FTSE list of emerging countries

Main markets of the International Track 200 companies*

                                                                                     171
            128                                                                       EUROPE
      NORTH AMERICA
                                                                                                                              73
                                                                                                                               ASIA

                                                                                                 31
                                                                          14
                                                                                            MIDDLE EAST
                                                                         AFRICA
                                       8
                             SOUTH AMERICA
                                                                                                                                      48
                                                                                                                                 AUSTRALASIA

* map shows the number of companies selling to each market

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                            fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
International Track 200 research report 2019   5

Sector breakdown                                      Sector breakdown
      Construction
                                                      The International Track 200 companies operate in a range of
           5                                          sectors, and, due to the breadth of their activities, 71 companies are
                                                      considered to operate across two sectors. Sports nutrition brand BULK
                                                      POWDERS (No 80), for example, is both a manufacturer and a retailer.
                                                      The largest sectors are services (93 companies) and manufacturing
                                         Services
                                                      (82, including some firms that outsource their manufacturing to
    Manufacturing
                                            93        third parties).
        82
                                                      •   Services (93) encompasses a wide range of industries,
                                                          and includes media firms such as events organiser FIRST
                                                          (No 122); recruiters, like Phaidon International (No 152);
                                                          and consultancies such as Oxford Economics (No 93), which
                                     Retail               provides economic research
              Wholesale
                58                    33
                                                      •   Manufacturers (82), including those that outsource to third
                                                          parties, are represented by snack maker Cofresh Snacks (No 77),
                                                          safety device manufacturer Brigade Electronics (No 171), and hair
                                                          removal technology firm iPulse (No 5)
Note: companies can operate in more than one sector
                                                      •   Wholesalers (58) comprise consumer goods suppliers such
                                                          as lifestyle products wholesaler Thumbs Up (No 23), and food
                                                          distributors like baked products provider Carrs Foods (No 8)
                                                      •   Retailers (33) include companies that trade overseas through
                                                          online channels, such as fitness clothing retailer Gymshark
Industry breakdown                                        (No 1) and sports goods retailer retailer Sigma Sports (No 15).
                                                          Others, such as maternity and babywear retailer JoJo Maman
                                                          Bébé (No 135), have opened physical stores overseas
                                                      •   Construction (5) includes companies such as construction
       43              Consumer goods                     project manager Mace (No 53), which is working on the
                                                          expansion of Auckland Airport

                                                      Industry breakdown
       39              TMT
                                                      •   Consumer goods (43) is the most represented industry, with
                                                          firms such as Charlotte Tilbury (No 60), which sells high-end
                                                          beauty products, and online menswear retailer END. (No 68)
                                                          Consumer goods accounts for combined international sales of
       34              Business services                  £3.5bn and employs 41,200 people
                                                      •   TMT (39) includes IT consultancies and suppliers, such as
                                                          Techbuyer (No 102) and Teneo (No 106); and media agencies like
                                                          Ptarmigan Media (No 145) and MNC (No 85)
       24              Food and drink
                                                          TMT accounts for combined international sales of £2.1bn and
                                                          employs 11,400 people
       14              Building
                                                      •   Business services firms (34) also perform strongly, and
       13              Engineering                        include outsourced office supplier The Instant Group
                                                          (No 27), and recruitment consultancies such as Oliver James
        8              Finance                            Associates (No 45)
        7              Automotive                         Business services accounts for combined overseas sales of
                                                          £2bn and employs 24,500 people
       18              Other

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                        fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
6        International Track 200 research report 2019

      Regional breakdown of headquarters                                     Regional breakdown
                                                            Scotland
                                                                             The region with the highest number of companies is London with
                                                                             68 firms (34%), up one from last year. The next highest is the
                                                               6
                                                                             Southeast with 42 (21%), compared to 47 last year.
                                                           Northwest         •   21 companies (11%) are headquartered in the Northwest,
                                                                                 including Manchester-based components supplier Arlington
                                                              21
                                                                                 Industries Group (No 27)
              N. Ireland                                     Northeast       •   20 (10%) are based in the Northeast, including
                   3
                                                                   20            Northumberland drinks manufacturer Fentimans (No 174);
                                                            Midlands
                                                                                 this region has also seen the biggest increase, up from eight
                                                                                 companies in 2018
                                                               16

                   Wales                                                     •   16 companies (8%) are located in the Midlands, including
                       5                                                         Stafford-based cashback website TopCashback (No 141)
                                                                    6
                                                                East         •   13 (7%) are based in the Southwest, including Bristol-based
                                                                                 tour operator InsideAsia Tours (No 150)
              13
                                                            London
                                                                             The regions with the lowest representation are: the East of
      Southwest                                     42        68             England and Scotland, with six each, followed by Wales with five;
                                                                             and Northern Ireland, with three.
                                               Southeast

                                                                             Job creation
                                                                             •   The 200 companies directly employ 140,000 people, a 32%
                                                                                 increase on last year's figure of 106,000. Typical staff numbers
                                                                                 range between 50-1,000. Pentland Group (No 192) is the
      Number of employees                                                        largest employer on the league table with more than 20,800
                                                                                 staff on the payroll
   >=2,000                      15                                           •   The smallest employers are generally wholesalers, such as
                                                                                 Cheltenham-based wine supplier Off-Piste Wines (No 94),
1,000-1,999                10
                                                                                 which has 21 staff. 19 of the companies on the league table
                                                                                 employ fewer than 50 people
   500-999                                24
                                                                             •   The league table companies have increased total staff
   250-499                                          35                           numbers by 38,000 over the past two years. Online retailer
                                                                                 The Hut Group (No 63) is among the companies that have
   100-249                                                              68       created new jobs, adding almost 1,500 employees to its payroll
                                                                                 last year, partly as a result of acquisitions.
     50-99                                     29
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
International Track 200 research report 2019   7

                                                                         Ownership
                                                                         •   Almost half of the companies (99) are majority-owned by
                                                                             an entrepreneur and/or founders, such as Reading-based
                                                                             technology distributor Westcoast (No 82), which is entirely
                                                                             owned by founder and chairman Joe Hemani
                                                                         •   45 companies are majority-owned by private equity firms,
                                                                             compared to 37 last year. These include orthopaedic parts
                                                                             maker Corin Orthopaedics (No 118), which sold a majority
                                                                             stake to Permira in June last year for an undisclosed sum

          School uniform supplier Trutex (No 160), founded in 1865, is   •   28 companies are family-owned, i.e. they remain owned
          owned by its management team following a 2014 buyout from          by the founder's offspring or other relatives. An example
          private equity firm Endless
                                                                             is motorsports retailer Demon Tweeks (No 78) which was
                                                                             founded in 1971 by the father of current managing director,
                                                                             Jon Minshaw
                                                                         •   Management owns a majority stake in 24 companies,
          Majority ownership type                                            including school uniform supplier Trutex (No 160), whose
                                                                             management team bought the business from private equity
Entrepreneur and/
                                                                             firm Endless in 2014
                                                                   99
       or founder
                                                                         External capital
    PE and/or VC                      45
                                                                         More than one-third of companies (73) have secured equity
           Family          28                                            investment from private equity, business angels or corporations, a
                                                                         22% increase on last year's figure (60).
    Management             24
                                                                         •   In addition to the 45 companies majority-owned by private
  Business angels    3
                                                                             equity firms, a further 18 have received minority investment
                                                                             from private equity. Among these is waste management provider
       Employees     1                                                       Recycling Lives (No 125), which secured £50m from Three Hills
                                                                             Capital Partners in 2018
                                                                         •   Business angels have made equity investments in five
          Number of companies in each range                                  companies, including hair removal technology firm iPulse
                                                                             (No 5), which has received investment from early Betfair
                                                                             investor Richard Koch and BGF chairman Sir Nigel Rudd
                                                                         •   Five companies have also received backing from corporate
                                                                             investors, such as pet food manufacturer Natures Menu
                                                                             (No 95), which sold a non-controlling 50% stake to Spanish pet
                                                                             care company Affinity in 2017

          © 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                 fasttrack.co.uk
Research report 2019 - Fast Track
8    International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                    Brexit
                                                    Fast Track conducted a survey during the research period
                                                    (August – December 2018) asking the companies about the overall
                                                    impact the Brexit vote has had on their business. This is the third
                                                    time that the survey has been conducted (see below for trends).

                                                    Of the 170 respondents this year (85% response rate):

                                                    • The majority (57%, down from 62% last year) said the vote has
                                                      had no, or a neutral, impact on their business

                                                    • 34%, up from 29%, said the vote has had a negative effect on
                                                      their business, due to factors such as increased import costs for
                                                      raw materials, difficulties hiring and retaining European staff and,
                                                      above all, the uncertainty surrounding the terms of the UK's exit

                                                    • 9%, the same figure as last year, said the vote has had a
                                                      positive influence on their business. For example, the weak
                                                      pound has boosted exports for some manufacturers

                                                    Trends over three surveys on the overall impact of Brexit on
                                                    International Track 200 companies*

                                                         Negative                       Neutral/no impact                         Positive

                                                    70%

                                                     60

                                                     50

                                                     40

                                                     30

                                                     20

                                                     10

                                                                         2017                       2018                        2019
                                                                                              League table year

                                                    *In response to the question: "What overall impact has the Brexit issue had on your business?"

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                 fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   9

                                                                    TEN YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL TRACK 200
                                                                    International Track 200 was launched 10 years ago to
                                                                    recognise the success of Britain’s private companies with the
                                                                    fastest-growing international sales. Since its launch, more than
                                                                    1,000 different companies have appeared on the league table.

                                                                    The vital statistics of the league table companies have changed
                                                                    significantly over the past 10 years. Average international sales
                                                                    have increased from £44m to £70m, and the companies are
                                                                    employing more people, with the average rising from 380 to 700.
Aston Martin featured on the 2018 league table with
international sales of £683m; it floated in the same year, and is
now valued at £2.7bn
                                                                    Stock market flotations
                                                                    17 companies have floated on the stock market. Examples
                                                                    include (in league table appearance order):

How the International Track 200 has changed                         •   Fever-Tree, the mixer drinks manufacturer, featured in 2011
                                                                        with international sales of just £4m; it floated in 2014, valued
                                                                        at £154m and is now worth £3.1bn
                        2010                      2019
                                                                    •   Endava, the IT services provider, first featured in 2012 with
                                                                         overseas sales of £4m; it floated on the NYSE in 2018 with a
                                                                         valuation of $220m and is now valued at $1.2bn
                                                                    •    arkit, the financial website operator, featured in 2013 with
                                                                        M
 Average                                                                overseas sales of £251m, floated on Nasdaq in 2014, valued
 int'l sales           £44m                      £70m
                                                                        at $4bn and completed a $13bn merger with IHS in 2016
                                                                    •   Merlin Entertainments, the visitor attraction operator,
                                                                         featured in 2013 with international sales of £649m; it floated
                                                                         in 2013 valued at £3bn and is now worth £3.4bn
                                                                    •   Joules, the lifestyle retailer, featured in 2015 with
                                                                         international sales of £7m; it floated in 2016, valued at
 Average
 staff                   380                       700                   £140m and is now worth £227m
                                                                    •   Aston Martin, the sports car maker, featured in 2018 with
                                                                         international sales of £683m; it floated in the same year
                                                                         valued at £4bn, and is now valued at £2.7bn

 Top
 company
                                                                    Acquisitions
 Int'l sales           £28m                      £81m
                                                                    More than 140 International Track 200 companies have been
                                                                    acquired, including:
Average figures for companies with turnover above
                                                                    •   Office, the shoe retailer, featured in 2015 with international
£25m, as the 2010 league also included firms below
£25m turnover                                                           sales of £14m; bought by South African retailer Truworths
                                                                        for £256m that year
                                                                    •   ghd, the hair products supplier, featured in 2012 with
                                                                        exports of £86m; acquired by Coty in 2016 for £420m
                                                                    •   Skyscanner, the travel search engine, first featured in 2013
                                                                         with overseas sales of £21m; acquired by China’s Ctrip for
                                                                         £1.4bn in 2016

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                      fasttrack.co.uk
10     International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                             The first International Track
                                                             Companies that appeared in the first International Track league
                                                             table in 2010* include:

                                                             •   Cath Kidston the lifestyle retailer, debuted with overseas
                                                                  sales of £5.6m and has featured five more times; it was
                                                                  acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia in 2016 for an
                                                                  undisclosed sum, and international sales hit £39.4m in 2018
                                                             •   Beggars Group the music producer, featured with overseas
                                                                  sales of £19.2m, and acquired the Radiohead catalogue
Energy services provider Global Energy Group was the top          in 2016; it now has 22 offices worldwide and generated
company on the first International Track league table with        international sales of £28.9m in 2017
overseas sales of £27.8m
                                                             •   Lush the cosmetics retailer, featured with international sales
                                                                  of £150.8m; it posted overseas sales of £300.3m in 2017, with
                                                                  more than 900 stores across 49 countries
                                                             •	
                                                               Zaha Hadid, the architect, debuted with overseas sales of
                                                               £24.5m and has featured three more times; founder Dame
                                                               Zaha Hadid passed away in 2016 and the company continues
                                                               her work with projects across six continents
                                                             Failures
                                                             Fewer than 10% of International Track companies have gone bust.

                                                             Companies that have failed include Berwin & Berwin, the
                                                             menswear firm which featured in 2013 and 2016, becoming
                                                             one of Europe’s largest suit makers before being saved from
                                                             administration by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill last year; IT services
                                                             provider 2e2, which had £404m sales in 2011 before going bust
                                                             in 2013; and Gaucho, the Argentinian steak house chain which
                                                             collapsed during the casual dining crunch of 2018.

                                                             Sector changes
                                                             Companies in the oil and gas sector featured strongly on the first
                                                             International Track, accounting for 17% of the league table. They
                                                             included the No 1 company, Aberdeen-based Global Energy Group.

                                                             Engineering was also well-represented (18%), but only 7%
                                                             supplied consumer goods.

                                                             In contrast, consumer goods is the top sector in 2019, accounting
                                                             for 22% of the league table. Ecommerce has driven overseas
                                                             growth for many, including the No 1 company, Gymshark.

                                                             * International Track ranked 100 companies in 2010

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                     fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019         11

International Track 200 alumni

First featured in 2012 with int’l sales of      Featured in 2018 with int'l sales of                       First featured in 2014 with int’l sales
£46m; acquired by General Atlantic in          £683m, and floated in the same year                        of £26m; bought by Brown-Forman for
     2016, valuing it at almost £1bn          valued at £4bn, and now worth £2.7bn                                     £285m in 2016

 First featured in 2012 with int’l sales of    First featured in 2010 with int’l sales of                   First featured in 2012 with int’l sales
£108m; overseas sales rose to £224m in         £6m; acquired by Baring Private Equity                      of £36m; has appeared a further four
       2017 on total sales of £347m             Asia in 2016 for an undisclosed sum                        times, and now has exports of £130m

  Featured in 2013 with int’l sales of           Featured in 2013 with int’l sales of                      First featured in 2012 with int’l sales of
   £331m; acquired by LabCorp for                 £100m; acquired by Permira for                            £4m; it floated on the NYSE last year
           $1.2bn in 2017                                 £300m in 2014                                  valued at $220m and is now worth $1.2bn

  Featured in 2012 with int’l sales of         Featured in 2011 with int’l sales of £4m;                    Featured in 2015 with int’l sales of
£15m; floated in 2014 valued at £309m         floated on AIM in 2014 valued at £154m,                     £40m; bought by Chinese group CIH in
        and now worth £846m                       and now worth more than £3.1bn                                2016, valuing it at £150m

   Featured in 2012 with int’l sales of        First featured in 2011 with int’l sales of                 Featured in 2015 with int’l sales of £7m;
    £86m; acquired by Coty in 2016             £8m; total sales rose to £70m in 2018,                    floated on AIM in 2016 valued at £140m,
               for £420m                             with 70% generated overseas                             and now worth more than £227m

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                  fasttrack.co.uk
12      International Track 200 research report 2019

International Track 200 alumni

     Featured in 2010 with int’l sales of                 Featured in 2015 with int’l sales of             Featured in 2013 with int’l sales of £251m;
        £151m; group sales rose to                           £42m; acquired by Priceline                   floated on Nasdaq in 2014, and completed
              £498m in 2017                                      for $550m in 2017                              a $13bn merger with IHS in 2016

  Featured in 2013 with int’l sales of                    Featured in 2015 with int’l sales of             First featured in 2017 with int’l sales of
£649m; floated in the same year valued                  £14m; bought by South African retailer             £15m; floated the following year valued
   at £3bn and is now worth £3.4bn                          Truworths for £256m that year                    at £145m and is now worth £149m

  First featured in 2015 with int’l sales of             First featured in 2013 with int’l sales of         First featured in 2012 with int’l sales of
   £22m; now has more than global 180                  £131m; now has more than 10 luxury hotels,           £593m; generated total sales of £2.6bn
stores, generating exports of £46m in 2018               generating total sales of £206m in 2018                   in 2018 and employs 32,500

   First featured in 2013 with int’l sales             First featured in 2015 with int’l sales of £8m;      First featured in 2013 with int’l sales of
  of £21m; acquired by China’s Ctrip for                  made total sales of £205m in 2018 after          £5m; acquired by KP Snacks in May 2018
               £1.4bn in 2016                                     opening its first US stores                        for an undisclosed sum

  Featured in 2012 with int’l sales of                 First featured in 2015 with int’l sales of £263m;      Featured in 2014 with int’l sales of
£287m; Brait acquired an 80% stake for                   now has 286 sites across 10 countries, with          £164m; sold to Verisk Analytics for
           £682m in 2015                                          total sales of £790m in 2017                        £1.85bn in 2015

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                    fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   13

                                                              KEY THEMES & SELECTED COMPANY PROFILES
                                                              On the following pages we profile examples of companies that
                                                              demonstrate some of the key themes from this year’s league table.

                                                              Trading in Europe
                                                              The EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner, accounting for about
                                                              44% of all British exports of goods and services. It also the top
                                                              market for the International Track 200 firms, with 171 companies
                                                              citing mainland Europe as a key destination for exports. Despite
                                                              Brexit, it remains the top choice for future growth, with 137
Safety product manufacturer JSP (No 187) operates a fully
                                                              companies planning European expansion and 62 identifying
automated manufacturing facility in Germany                   Germany as a key target. Examples include Transferwise (No 12),
                                                              which said it will open an office in Brussels this year.

               VSI Group
               Language services provider                        Founded in 1989 by managing director Norman Dawood, VSI
     17                                                          translates, dubs and provides subtitles for films and television
               European clients include Sky Deutschland
               and French television channel Canal+              series, working for clients such as the BBC, Nickelodeon and
                                                                 other major streaming platforms. It has 22 studios worldwide,
                                                                 with locations including Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin, and
                  CAGR§                     122%                 works in more than 50 languages.
                  Int'l sales 2017          £32.4m
                  Int'l sales 2015          £6.6m
                  Total sales 2017          £45m
                  Staff                     133
                  Founded                   1989
                  Location                  Central London

               Windhoist
               Wind turbine contractor                           This Scottish company helps build wind turbines in Europe,
    114                                                          Australia and Morocco. It has installed more than 6,200 turbines
               Built the Skovengen Wind Farm, helping
               Denmark meet its renewable energy goals           for wind energy specialists such as Siemens, Vestas and
                                                                 Nordex. Projects include turbine work for a $380m wind farm
                                                                 in Queensland, Australia, and Scotland's largest offshore wind
                  CAGR§                     55%                  development. Managing director Hugh McNally, 53, plans to
                  Int'l sales 2017          £34.1m               expand in Scandinavia and Australia this year.
                  Int'l sales 2015          £14.3m
                  Total sales 2017          £47.4m
                  Staff                     306
                  Founded                   2005
                  Location                  Scotland

               JSP
               Safety product manufacturer                       Chief executive Mark Johnstone, 51, leads this Oxfordshire-
    187                                                          based safety gear manufacturer, founded by his father Clive, 76,
               Operates a fully automated manufacturing
               facility in Germany                               in 1964. It designs and makes helmets, respirators, goggles and
                                                                 other safety products from bases in the UK, China, Germany,
                                                                 America and the UAE. It is setting up local bases across Europe,
                  CAGR§                     35%                  including in Spain, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
                  Int'l sales 2018          £28.9m
                  Int'l sales 2016          £15.9m †
                  Total sales 2018          £58.1m
                  Staff                     305
                  Founded                   1964
                  Location                  Oxfordshire

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18    † annualised

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                 fasttrack.co.uk
14      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                              TRADING OUTSIDE THE EU
                                                              With Brexit on the horizon, markets outside the EU are set to gain in
                                                              importance for British exporters.

                                                              Almost two thirds of companies (64%) identify North America as a main
                                                              market, while 37% are active in Asia (page 15 explores China in depth).
                                                              A fifth (20%) are looking to the Middle East and Africa for future growth
                                                              (companies targeting Africa are profiled on p16) for future growth.

                                                              Examples include Trutex (No 160), the Lancashire company which
Watches of Switzerland (No 18) chief executive Brian Duffy    sells bespoke British-style uniforms to schools in Dubai and Abu
opened its flagship store in New York last year
                                                              Dhabi, and Origin (No 47), which manufactures luxury windows and
                                                              doors in High Wycombe and Florida, and has a showroom in Dubai.
                Watches of Switzerland Group
                Jewellery and watch retailer                     This Leicester jewellery group is one of the world’s largest
    18                                                           distributors of luxury watches. It owns Goldsmiths, Mappin &
                Opened its flagship US store in New York in
                November                                         Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Watch Shop in the UK, and
                                                                 is expanding across America with the backing of private equity
                                                                 firm Apollo. In 2017, it bought US chain Mayors Jewelers for
                  CAGR§                     120%                 $105m (£78m). Chief executive Brian Duffy, 64, changed the
                  Int'l sales 2018          £133m                group's name from Aurum Holdings last year in preparation for
                  Int'l sales 2016          £27.4m
                                                                 a potential IPO.
                  Total sales 2018          £685.2m
                  Staff                     2,015
                  Founded                   1778
                  Location                  Leicester

                YM&U
                Talent agency                                    Private equity firm Trilantic backed a tertiary buyout of this talent
    58                                                           agency last September, valuing it at about $160m. Previously
                Forecasting strong growth from its Los
                Angeles-based music talent agency                called James Grant, YM&U advises music, entertainment and
                                                                 sports stars such as Take That, Ant & Dec and Frank Lampard.
                                                                 It also represents American DJs Cheat Codes and Steve Aoki,
                  CAGR§                     76%                  following its acquisition of Los Angeles-based music agency
                  Int'l sales 2017          £7.4m                Deckstar in 2017. International sales reached £7.4m that year,
                  Int'l sales 2015          £2.4m†
                                                                 under chief executive Neil Rodford, 49.
                  Total sales 2017          £27.8m
                  Staff                     208
                  Founded                   1984
                  Location                  Central London

                The Little Group
                Media wholesaler                                 Chairman Jonathan Little, 54, heads this family-owned holding
    186                                                          company, which includes Gardners Books, one of Britain’s
                Its US subsidiary stocks more than 250,000
                music, book and film titles                      largest independent wholesalers of books, music and DVDs. It
                                                                 also owns Lasgo, which exports CDs and vinyl records to more
                                                                 than 50 countries. The group's international sales hit £151.9m
                  CAGR§                     35%                  in 2018, boosted by growth in its US operations, the global
                  Int'l sales 2018          £151.9m              appetite for English-language books, and vinyl's resurgent
                  Int'l sales 2016          £83.5m
                                                                 popularity worldwide.
                  Total sales 2018          £338.1m
                  Staff                     1,218
                  Founded                   1996
                  Location                  Eastbourne

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                            fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   15

                                                                   FOCUS: China
                                                                   A survey by HSBC of 1,205 companies across 11 key economies
                                                                   found only 10% of UK exporters saw China as a top three future
                                                                   export market, compared to 15% globally. In contrast, around a
                                                                   third (63) of International Track 200 companies plan to expand
                                                                   there, with 44 already citing it as a major market.

                                                                   Examples of companies trading in the country include Mountain
                                                                   Warehouse (No 74), which launched its Chinese ecommerce site in
                                                                   2015; and Karro Food Group (No 126), which exports pig's trotters,
Co-founder Tom Gearing of Cult Wines (No 73), whose top            considered a delicacy in China.
overseas markets are Hong Kong and China

               Cult Wines
               Wine merchant                                          This company manages more than £95m of fine wine
     73                                                               investments for 2,000 clients in 71 countries, providing online
               Has strengthened Chinese presence with offices in
               Shanghai and Hong Kong                                 tools and guides to help collectors track the value of their
                                                                      investments. It was set up in 2007 by former investment banker
                                                                      Phil Gearing, 61, and son Tom, 31, who was a runner-up on
                 CAGR§                    68%                         the TV show The Apprentice. It opened its first overseas office
                 Int'l sales 2018         £27.7m*                     in Hong Kong in 2016, followed by Shanghai and Singapore.
                 Int'l sales 2016         £9.7m
                                                                      Investment grade fine wines can be bought on their website in
                 Total sales 2018         £52.2m*
                 Staff                    39                          seven currencies.
                 Founded                  2007
                 Location                 West London

               Monica Vinader
               Jewellery designer                                     Monica Vinader, 50, launched her eponymous jewellery brand
    153                                                               in 2007. Celebrity fans include the Duchess of Cambridge,
               Actress Liu Shishi wore its jewellery on the
               cover of Elle China magazine                           actress Emma Watson, and England football manager Gareth
                                                                      Southgate, who wore one of its bracelets at the 2018 World
                                                                      Cup. In 2016, Piper Private Equity and Winona Capital invested
                 CAGR§                    45%                         £20m to fuel expansion in the US. The Norfolk company has 20
                 Int'l sales 2018         £20.3m                      boutiques in North America and Asia, while its website ships to
                 Int'l sales 2016         £9.7m
                                                                      more than 70 countries. Overseas sales hit £20.3m in 2018.
                 Total sales 2018         £42.8m
                 Staff                    212
                 Founded                  2007
                 Location                 Norfolk

               Busy Bees
               Nurseries operator                                     This Staffordshire business is Britain's largest private provider
    184                                                               of childcare services, running 359 UK nurseries and 550 sites
               Theresa May highlighted its success in China
               during a recent trade mission                          in total, caring for more than 50,000 children across the UK,
                                                                      Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, China and Australia. In 2017, it
                                                                      acquired Canadian nursery group BrightPath for £93m, and,
                 CAGR§                    35%                         last year, it announced plans to open 32 nurseries in China
                 Int'l sales 2017         £94.9m                      over the next five years. Chief executive Simon Irons, 56, heads
                 Int'l sales 2015         £51.7m
                                                                      the group.
                 Total sales 2017         £327.5m
                 Staff                    9,979
                 Founded                  1983
                 Location                 Staffordshire

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18         * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                      fasttrack.co.uk
16      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                                   FOCUS: Africa
                                                                   British exporters are consolidating trading partnerships across
                                                                   Africa, with 14 league table companies regarding the continent as
                                                                   a main market, such as digital marketing agency Jellyfish (No 109),
                                                                   which has three offices in South Africa.

                                                                   Other examples include commodities trader Gapuma (No 146),
                                                                   which has five offices across Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda; Beta
                                                                   Pharmaceuticals (No 142), which distributes prescription drugs
                                                                   across East Africa; and Eaton Towers (No 86) – the only mobile
Integrity Print (No 46), run by managing director Mark             phone tower company in Niger and Burkina Faso.
Cornford, prints documents for Botswana, Ghana and Zambia

                EFG Housewares
                Household goods wholesaler                            Household goods exported by this London-based wholesaler
     44                                                               include kitchenware, DIY tools and toiletries. Founded in 1978, it
                Its own brand sparkling juice has proved popular
                in West Africa                                        is run by the second generation of the Shipton family – cousins
                                                                      Mark, 45, and Daren, 50 – who made the strategic decision to
                                                                      expand into Nigeria and Ghana 10 years ago having developed
                   CAGR§                    84%                       connections there through their UK partnerships.
                   Int'l sales 2017         £17.9m
                   Int'l sales 2015         £5.3m
                   Total sales 2017         £32.5m
                   Staff                    82
                   Founded                  1978
                   Location                 North London

                Integrity Print
                Printer                                               Integrity Print was formed in 2008 when managing director
     46                                                               Mark Cornford, 53, led a £12.8m buyout from printing company
                Has contracts to print teacher licences for
                Zambia and cheques for Liberia                        Communisis. The Somerset-based group runs a security
                                                                      printing business in Birmingham, and produces packaging and
                                                                      labelling for retailers and pharmaceutical firms. Africa is a major
                   CAGR§                    83%                       overseas market, and projects include printing prescription
                   Int'l sales 2017         £2.6m                     pads in Ghana and exam certificates in Botswana.
                   Int'l sales 2015         £0.8m
                   Total sales 2017         £48.6m
                   Staff                    370
                   Founded                  2008
                   Location                 Somerset

                Mace
                Construction project manager                          Founded in 1990 and led by chief executive Mark Reynolds,
     53                                                               55, Mace provides consultancy and management services for
                Invested in a joint venture, MaceYMR, in Kenya
                to target the East African market                     construction projects in more than 70 countries. Works include
                                                                      the redevelopment of the Victoria and Albert Waterfront
                                                                      in Cape Town, South Africa, and fitting out Microsoft’s
                   CAGR§                    79%                       head offices in Kenya and Nigeria. In 2017, overseas sales
                   Int'l sales 2017         £665m                     represented a third of its £2bn turnover.
                   Int'l sales 2015         £208.4m
                   Total sales 2017         £2bn
                   Staff                    4,741
                   Founded                  1990
                   Location                 Central London

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                               fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   17

                                                                   Ecommerce
                                                                   Excelling at online commerce has transformed the prospects of
                                                                   an increasing number of British companies, helping them attract
                                                                   overseas customers. Featuring on the 2019 league table are 34
                                                                   ecommerce goods exporters that generate at least 10% of their
                                                                   international sales online.

                                                                   This is similar to the 2018 league table (35 firms), and a 36%
                                                                   increase on 2017 (25 firms). Examples include Revolution Beauty
                                                                   (No 34), which sold 61m products online and through retailers
Boxer Anthony Joshua is a brand ambassador for sports nutrition    last year, and iPulse (No 5), which sells its patented hair removal
brand Bulk Powders (No 80), which has 12 online stores
                                                                   devices through 15 international websites.

               Sigma Sports
               Sports goods retailer                                  Launched in 1992 by Ian Whittingham, 47, and Jason Turner, 47,
    15                                                                this cycle and triathlon gear retailer trades mostly online. It sold
               Sells 70% of its cycling and triathlon
               accessories online                                     a 50% stake to sportswear firm Bradshaw Taylor in 2009 and
                                                                      opened a 30,000 sq ft distribution warehouse in Lincolnshire in
                                                                      2018. It stocks the Le Col range from Sir Bradley Wiggins, and
                  CAGR§                     131%                      saw its 2018 sales boosted by new brand ambassador Matt
                  Int'l sales 2018          £4.5m*                    Stephens, the former national road cycling champion.
                  Int'l sales 2016          £0.8m
                  Total sales 2018          £26m*
                  Staff                     79
                  Founded                   1992
                  Location                  Kingston upon Thames

               Leisure Pass Group
               Tourism smartcard provider                             This company’s smartcards give tourists access to attractions
    35                                                                ranging from dolphin encounters in Hawaii to historical tours
               100% of its tourist smartcards for city
               attractions are sold online                            of Rome and the Vatican City. It also builds software for
                                                                      tourist boards to manage their own smartcard systems. In
                                                                      2016, private equity firm Exponent bought the business for
                  CAGR§                     92%                       an undisclosed sum, and the following year, it merged its US
                  Int'l sales 2017          £207.9m†                  portfolio company Smart Destinations and acquired the New
                  Int'l sales 2015          £56.7m
                                                                      York Pass.
                  Total sales 2017          £225.8m†
                  Staff                     105
                  Founded                   1998
                  Location                  Central London

               BULK POWDERS
               Sports nutrition brand                                 Superfood powders, nut butters and whey proteins are
    80                                                                among the health and performance products made by Bulk
               Sells more than 1,000 products via 12 online
               stores and marketplaces such as Amazon                 Powders. Fitness enthusiasts Elliot Dawes, 36 and Adam
                                                                      Rossiter, 35, started the Colchester firm in 2006, and they now
                                                                      export more than 1,000 food supplements to Europe, with
                  CAGR§                     66%                       expansion to the increasingly health-aware US and Chinese
                  Int'l sales 2017          £15.5m                    markets on the horizon.
                  Int'l sales 2015          £5.6m
                  Total sales 2017          £32.2m
                  Staff                     119
                  Founded                   2006
                  Location                  Colchester

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18        * supplied by company       † annualised

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                       fasttrack.co.uk
18      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                                    Product innovation
                                                                    Bringing innovative products, many developed in-house, to
                                                                    market has helped many of the companies on this year’s league
                                                                    table break into overseas markets. 70 companies attribute
                                                                    their international sales growth to investment in new products
                                                                    and R&D. These range from businesses developing healthcare
                                                                    products, such antimicrobial wipes from Gama (No 84); to those
                                                                    with automotive expertise, such as Envisage (No 81), which is
                                                                    pioneering electric vehicle technology in the US.

Microlise (No 124) develops tracking systems that help HGV
operators maximise fleet efficiency and increase safety standards

                Genius Sports Group
                Betting data services provider                        More than 500 sports bodies, such as the NCAA and NBA, in 100
    37                                                                countries use this company to collect and commercialise live
                Helps bookmakers launch personalised ad
                campaigns online                                      sports data. It also identifies betting fraud for organisations like
                                                                      the Premier League and the PGA Tour, while supplying in-game
                                                                      betting software to bookmakers and lotteries. In 2018, private
                   CAGR§                      89%                     equity firm Apax bought a majority stake to fund overseas
                   Int'l sales 2017           £46.9m                  growth and capitalise on the liberalisation of sports betting in
                   Int'l sales 2015           £13.1m
                                                                      countries such as the US and Brazil. Mark Locke, 39, is chief
                   Total sales 2017           £53.1m
                   Staff                      669                     executive.
                   Founded                    2000
                   Location                   Central London

                Microlise
                Vehicle tracking developer                            Microlise develops tracking systems that help HGV operators
    124                                                               maximise fleet efficiency, increase safety standards and reduce
                Tracking technology helps customers reduce
                CO2 emissions and save fuel costs                     environmental impact. The Nottingham-based company works
                                                                      with vehicle manufacturers, such as DAF and MAN, and fleet
                                                                      operators, such as DHL and Eddie Stobart, in Europe. In 2018
                   CAGR§                      51%                     the company opened a new French office to help it expand
                   Int'l sales 2018           £9.8m*                  across the continent. Chief executive Nadeem Raza, 51, heads
                   Int'l sales 2016           £4.3m
                                                                      the group.
                   Total sales 2018           £50.1m*
                   Staff                      477
                   Founded                    1982
                   Location                   Nottingham

                Vision RT
                Medical technology developer                          If cancer patients move during radiotherapy treatment, Vision
    139                                                               RT’s 3D imaging systems automatically pause the beam,
                Wireless tech provides feedback to patients
                on their breathing during radiotherapy                helping to prevent damage to surrounding organs and tissues.
                                                                      Norman Smith, 49, and Ivan Meir, 48, founded the firm in an
                                                                      attic in 2001, and it now has more than 1,000 installations
                   CAGR§                      47%                     worldwide. It has witnessed strong growth in the US, Europe
                   Int'l sales 2017           £21.3m                  and Asia Pacific.
                   Int'l sales 2015           £9.8m
                   Total sales 2017           £32.5m
                   Staff                      132
                   Founded                    2001
                   Location                   North London

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18         * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   19

                                                                      Expansion through technology
                                                                      More than a third (36%) of companies who responded to a Fast
                                                                      Track survey said they plan to upgrade their business software as
                                                                      they expand their international presence, with others answering
                                                                      that they have already done so.

                                                                      Examples include Fentimans (No 174), the botanical brewer which
                                                                      installed Oracle NetSuite three years ago in preparation for overseas
                                                                      expansion and saw exports increase from £3.8m in 2014 to £11.3m
                                                                      in 2017; and payment provider WorldFirst (No 179), which has
Matchesfashion.com (No 79) chief executive Ulric Jerome has           invested in nine international websites and a B2B platform.
invested in its shopping app, which has fuelled mobile transactions

                Niftylift
                Lift manufacturer                                        Engineer and Niftylift chairman Roger Bowden, 71, founded this
     51                                                                  company in a garden shed in 1985. The Milton Keynes business
                Says digital marketing has given it a virtual
                presence in markets around the world                     designs and makes mobile hydraulic platforms, such as cherry
                                                                         pickers and access lifts, which it sells throughout Europe, the US,
                                                                         the Middle East and Far East, Australia and South Africa. Under
                   CAGR§                       80%                       managing director John Keely, 58, it has invested in customer
                   Int'l sales 2017            £83.2m                    relationship management software and can provide instant
                   Int'l sales 2015            £25.7m
                                                                         support to a dealer network in more than 70 countries.
                   Total sales 2017            £107.2m
                   Staff                       481
                   Founded                     1985
                   Location                    Milton Keynes

                The Hut Group
                Online retailer                                          THG sells premium health and beauty goods via more than 165
     63                                                                  websites such as Myprotein and Lookfantastic, powered by its
                More than 500m people visit its ecommerce
                websites each year                                       proprietary technology. In 2017, the group spent £164m on
                                                                         acquisitions, including Berlin-based beauty subscription service
                                                                         GLOSSYBOX, and spa brand ESPA. In October 2018, it opened
                   CAGR§                       75%                       an 800,000 sq ft production and logistics centre in Poland. The
                   Int'l sales 2017            £512.6m                   Manchester company is led by founder Matt Moulding, 46, and
                   Int'l sales 2015            £167.2m
                                                                         backed by investors including KKR, and valued at $3.25bn.
                   Total sales 2017            £735.7m
                   Staff                       3,222
                   Founded                     2004
                   Location                    Manchester

                Matchesfashion.com
                Luxury fashion retailer                                  Husband-and-wife team Tom and Ruth Chapman, 55 and 57,
     79                                                                  began with a single boutique in Wimbledon, southwest London, in
                Uses geo-targeting to tailor website content
                to local markets                                         1987. The retailer now sells more than 450 luxury fashion brands
                                                                         online and in six physical locations. French and Korean language
                                                                         websites were launched in 2017 and the company has attributed
                   CAGR§                       67%                       its international sales growth to investment in its shopping app,
                   Int'l sales 2018            £227.8m                   fuelling mobile transactions. Private equity firm Apax Partners
                   Int'l sales 2016            £81.7m
                                                                         bought a majority stake in 2017, valuing the group — led by chief
                   Total sales 2018            £292.8m
                   Staff                       574                       executive Ulric Jerome, 40 — at a reported £800m.
                   Founded                     1987
                   Location                    Central London

§   compound annual growth rate between 2014/15 and 2017/18            * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                         fasttrack.co.uk
20      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                                 Growth by acquisition
                                                                 Acquisition can be a time-efficient way to access new markets and
                                                                 gain economies of scale.

                                                                 Fifty-seven firms have bought or partnered with businesses to
                                                                 expand internationally, a similar number to the 2018 table (60
                                                                 firms), and up 24% on 2017 (46 firms). Examples include Oxford
                                                                 Economics (No 93), which acquired Australian analytics firm BIS
                                                                 Shrapnel in 2017, and John Cotton Group (No 91) – which makes
                                                                 20m pillows a year and acquired Australian duvet maker Tontine
Ambassador Theatre Group (No 88), whose shows include            for £7.8m in 2017.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, bought Broadway's biggest
theatre in 2013

                Claranet
                IT services provider                                This company provides IT, communications and cybersecurity
    38                                                              services to more than 6,500 businesses, such as Banco de
                Its French subsidiary – Claranet France – made
                three acquisitions in three months in 2015          Portugal and Canal+. Founded in 1996 by Charles Nasser, 49,
                                                                    it has expanded through organic growth and acquisitions,
                                                                    including last year's purchases of Italian cloud specialist
                  CAGR§                     89%                     Xpeppers, Dutch IT firm Quinfox, and security specialist
                  Int'l sales 2018          £207.9m                 NotSoSecure Global Services, which has operations in the UK,
                  Int'l sales 2016          £58.4m
                                                                    US and India. As of 2018, Claranet had 24 offices and 43 data
                  Total sales 2018          £321.6m
                  Staff                     1,841                   centres worldwide.
                  Founded                   1996
                  Location                  Central London

                Ambassador Theatre Group
                Theatre operator                                    Chief executive Mark Cornell, 52, runs the world’s largest live-
    88                                                              theatre group, with 50 venues across Britain, Germany, and
                Acquired theatre group Mehr Entertainment in
                Germany last year                                   the US – where it acquired ACE Theatrical Group in 2015. Its
                                                                    iconic West End and Broadway theatres are home to box office
                                                                    hits such as The Lion King. It also produces shows and runs
                  CAGR§                     62%                     a ticketing division, which sells 12m tickets a year for 11,000
                  Int'l sales 2018          £155.8m†                performances.
                  Int'l sales 2016          £59.2m
                  Total sales 2018          £360.6m †
                  Staff                     4,399
                  Founded                   1992
                  Location                  Surrey

                Pentland Group
                Brand manager and retailer                          Speedo, Mitre and Berghaus are among the famous clothing
    192                                                             and sports brands managed by this business. Founded in
                Acquired Californian footwear brand SeaVees
                in 2017                                             1932 as The Liverpool Shoe Company, it has been run by three
                                                                    generations of the Rubin family, with Stephen Rubin, 81, the
                                                                    current chairman. Pentland is active in 190 countries and owns
                  CAGR§                     32%                     a majority stake in JD Sports, which acquired US retailer Finish
                  Int'l sales 2017          £1.4bn                  Line in a $558m deal last year.
                  Int'l sales 2015          £806.7m
                  Total sales 2017          £3.6bn
                  Staff                     20,865
                  Founded                   1932
                  Location                  North London

§   compound annual growth rate between 2015/16 and 2017/18       † annualised

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                           fasttrack.co.uk
International Track 200 research report 2019   21

                                                                      Female founders & leaders
                                                                      34 companies on this year's league table were founded or
                                                                      co-founded by a woman (24 firms) or have a woman as chief
                                                                      executive, managing director, or chairperson.

                                                                      Examples include Mint Velvet (No 103) – co-founded by chief
                                                                      executive Liz Houghton – and Cult Beauty (No 2) – co-founded by
                                                                      Alexia Inge and Jessica DeLuca. Laura Tennison MBE is founder
                                                                      and managing director of JoJo Maman Bebe (No 135), while Monica
                                                                      Vinader is chief executive of her eponymous jewellery brand (No 153).
Michele Harriman-Smith leads Childrensalon (No 182).
Founded by her mother in 1952, it sells designer children's
clothes to 160 countries

                Charlotte Tilbury
                Beauty products retailer                                 Make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, 46, launched her eponymous
     60                                                                  cosmetics line in 2013, having worked in the beauty industry for
                Celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury launched
                the company in 2013                                      more than 25 years. The brand, whose celebrity fans include
                                                                         Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss, runs seven ecommerce sites
                                                                         that ship to 67 markets and has opened stores in London and
                   CAGR§                      75%                        the Middle East. Under chief executive Demetra Pinsent, it also
                   Int'l sales 2017           £43.7m                     sells through retailers, such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and
                   Int'l sales 2015           £14.2m
                                                                         Sephora in North America, and KaDeWe Group in Europe.
                   Total sales 2017           £100.7m
                   Staff                      772
                   Founded                    2013
                   Location                   West London

                the7stars
                Media agency                                             Co-founded in 2005 by Jenny Biggam, 52, this firm takes its
     87                                                                  name from a London pub. It plans and buys advertising across
                Managing director Jenny Biggam quit her
                job to set up the company in 2005                        media channels in Europe and America for clients including
                                                                         gaming firm Supercell, responsible for mobile phone games
                                                                         such as Clash of Clans. It is also a member of a network of
                   CAGR§                      63%                        media buyers that shares work across Europe.
                   Int'l sales 2018           £90.5m
                   Int'l sales 2016           £34.2m
                   Total sales 2018           £297.6m
                   Staff                      173
                   Founded                    2005
                   Location                   Central London

                Childrensalon
                Childrenswear retailer                                   Chief executive Michele Harriman-Smith, 66, has transformed
    182                                                                  the clothes shop founded by her mother, Sybil, in 1952 into a
                Michele Harriman-Smith leads the company
                founded by her mother                                    global online retailer of designer children’s clothes. Websites
                                                                         in seven languages sell clothing from 280 brands, including
                                                                         Armani, Burberry and Gucci, to customers in 160 countries. The
                   CAGR§                      36%                        company is headquartered near its original site in Tunbridge
                   Int'l sales 2017           £66.8m                     Wells, but generated 85% of sales abroad in 2017.
                   Int'l sales 2015           £36.1m
                   Total sales 2017           £78.9m
                   Staff                      296
                   Founded                    1952
                   Location                   Tunbridge Wells

§   compound annual growth rate between 2014/15 and 2017/18            * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                                        fasttrack.co.uk
22      International Track 200 research report 2019

                                                                   Brand Britain
                                                                   Fashion firms feature strongly among the British brands with a
                                                                   reputation extending beyond the UK’s shores.

                                                                   Among them are Mountain Warehouse (No 74), which sells outdoor
                                                                   gear in stores across Europe and North America, and Seasalt
                                                                   (No 178), which sells Cornish-inspired clothing online to 138
                                                                   countries. British food and beverage companies with brand status
                                                                   include Ahmad Tea (No 156), which has used its British heritage
                                                                   to become a household name in the Middle East and Russia, and
Radley + Co (No 75) sells its range of handbags and accessories,   Grenade (No 90) – the sports nutrition brand whose shakes and
with the distinctive Scottie dog logo, in 48 countries
                                                                   bars are consumed by athletes in 100+ countries.

                Gymshark
                Online sportswear retailer                            Ben Francis, 26, started this fitness clothing brand in 2012.
      1                                                               Since then its range of fitness apparel has gone global, under
                Has a combined audience of 80m followers on
                social media                                          the leadership of chief executive Steve Hewitt, 45, who joined
                                                                      in 2015. It has focused on creating an aspirational brand,
                                                                      building a community of customers through social media
                   CAGR§                     228%                     and sponsorship of popular YouTubers and Instagram stars.
                   Int'l sales 2018          £81m*                    In 2018, sales hit £103.2m, 78% of which were to overseas
                   Int'l sales 2016          £7.5m
                                                                      customers in 177 countries.
                   Total sales 2018          £103.2m*
                   Staff                     260
                   Founded                   2012
                   Location                  Solihull

                Radley + Co
                Handbag and accessories brand                         Known for its distinctive Scottie dog logo, Radley ships its
     75                                                               handbags and purses to 48 countries. In 2016, private equity
                Its distinctive Radley dog logo has become
                an icon among global fans                             firm Bregal Freshstream bought the brand for an undisclosed
                                                                      sum to fuel overseas growth. In 2017, Radley launched in the
                                                                      US with shopping channel QVC and department store Macy's.
                   CAGR§                     68%                      Chief executive Justin Stead, 51, plans to expand the business
                   Int'l sales 2018          £17.8m                   in China, where it sells on ecommerce site Tmall.
                   Int'l sales 2016          £6.3m
                   Total sales 2018          £85.9m
                   Staff                     565
                   Founded                   1998
                   Location                  Central London

                BrewDog
                Brewery                                               Founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 36, this
    168                                                               Scottish brewer has opened more than 70 bars in locations
                Smart marketing has transformed punk beer
                brand into mainstream giant valued at £1bn            as far afield as Brazil and Japan, as well as a brewery in Ohio,
                                                                      America, where it also has a DogHouse hotel. BrewDog was
                                                                      valued at £1bn in 2017 when it sold a 22% stake to US private
                   CAGR§                     38%                      equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for £213m, and it has since
                   Int'l sales 2017          £21.6m                   raised another £26m from crowdfunding.
                   Int'l sales 2015          £11.3m
                   Total sales 2017          £111.6m
                   Staff                     777
                   Founded                   2007
                   Location                  Aberdeenshire

§   compound annual growth rate between 2014/15 and 2017/18         * supplied by company

© 2019 International Track 200                                                                                             fasttrack.co.uk
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