What does international success look like? Key themes and top tips from the International Track 200

Posted on 5/03/2020 by DHL Express 0 comments

Now in its eleventh year, the 2020 Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 was released on Sunday 16 February, ranking Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales. As a main sponsor of the publication, DHL Express is delighted to see so many customers making the list.

The average international sales growth for the 200 companies on the list over the last two years was 64%. Exporting to all corners of the globe, the companies employ a total of 124,000 staff and added 38,000 jobs over the same period. 90% of the companies listed sell to mainland Europe, making it the most popular market, followed by North America and Asia. 74% intend to further expand sales to Europe in the future, with North America proving to be the next most popular potential market for growth. The list revealed the top markets for overseas sales to be America, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland and China.

We have picked out some of the key themes and practices of the businesses who ranked in this year’s publication which can hopefully be applied to your own organisation to help you achieve global success.

Trading in Europe and North America
Despite uncertainty over Britain’s future relationship with the European Union, 180 companies trade with mainland Europe. Almost three quarters (147 firms) of the International Track 200 businesses are also planning to target Europe for future growth – more than any other continent.

As the world’s largest economy and Britain’s biggest single trading partner, 118 of the 200 companies listed cited North America as a major market for overseas sales. It is the top choice of markets for future growth with more than half of the companies on the 2020 publication planning to expand there in the future.

A significant number of companies featured use sustainable business practices and products to help grow sales and efficiency. A 2019 survey by HSBC found that 26 per cent of business decision makers see sustainability as a means of improving operational efficiency, and only 2 per cent were not implementing sustainability practices.

Compostable packaging manufacturer and DHL Express customer, Vegware, ranked thirty seventh in this year’s publication. With bases in America, Australia and Hong Kong, the Edinburgh-founded company now has worldwide distributors with international sales of £32.2 million in 2019.

This year’s list features 31 e-commerce goods exporters that generated at least 10 per cent of their overseas sales online. Clothing retailers and firms catering for hobbyists are among those reaping the benefits of online retail and international markets.

British brands
The demand for quality-British goods in international markets has remained consistent with fashion, beauty and food and drink firms featuring strongly among the many British brands on this year’s league.

Some of the British brands featured have been founded within the last decade, including fitness clothing brand and DHL Express customer Gymshark. Ranking eighteenth in the 2020 publication, Gymshark generated exports of an impressive £143 million in 2019.

Click here to see the full 2020 Sunday Times International Track 200.

If you’re feeling inspired by the many companies on this year’s publication, contact us today and discover how we can support your business in going global.



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