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Johnstons of Elgin makes list of fastest-growing global sales stars

By Lorna Thompson

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JOHNSTONS of Elgin, Scotland’s second oldest family business, has been named in a prestigious list of export success stories.

The company was one of five UK firms which made The Sunday Times HSBC International Track "Ones to Recognise" selection.

The International Track Ones to Recognise list is part of the 12th annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table that ranks the UK’s mid-market private companies with the fastest growing overseas sales.

Ones to Recognise, selected by Fast Track and HSBC, highlights companies that have grown exports and generated a significant proportion of sales overseas, but do not meet the criteria of the main league table.

Established in 1797, luxury cashmere manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin operates two mills, in Elgin and Hawick.

Johnstons of Elgin has made it into The Sunday Times HSBC International Track "Ones to Recognise" selection.
Johnstons of Elgin has made it into The Sunday Times HSBC International Track "Ones to Recognise" selection.

From its first export in 1814, to £30 million of exports in 2019, Johnstons of Elgin now sells to 65 countries, with France and Japan its largest markets.

The brand generated 39 per cent of its £77 million sales abroad in 2019 and plans to expand further in the US and China over the next few years.

Simon Cotton, Johnstons of Elgin chief executive, said: "It is with great pride that Johnstons of Elgin has been named in The Sunday Times’ inaugural list of Ones to Recognise as part of its renowned International Track 200 league table, especially after what has been such an extraordinary year for the industry.

"Ultimately this serves as testament to the hard work and dedication of our skilled craftspeople and teams across the business, and I am pleased these efforts have been recognised nationally among incredible industry representatives."

Fast Track and HSBC will select a winner from the five finalists which will be announced at the Sunday Times International Track 200 virtual awards in April.

In August last year Johnstons of Elgin announced a restructure of the business to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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