Simpsons Malt has been ranked 23rd in a Sunday Times league table,which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
The Berwick-based family owned maltsters make almost 300,000 tons of malt a year, with its agricultural trading arms – McCreath, Simpson Prentice and John Guthrie – sourcing the raw material, barley.
Their malt is exported to a range of markets, including whisky and beer manufacturers in North America and Europe.
Simpsons Malt’s placing puts them at the top of the four companies from the north east featured in the fifth annual HSBC International Track 200.
The four companies are described as making a significant contribution to the regional economy over the last two years. They employ a total of 737 people and their combined sales are almost £250m, with their international sales having grown by an average of 54% over two years - Simpsons Malt’s alone has risen by 92% - to a total of £65m between them.
In order to qualify for the ranking, companies had to be registered in the UK and be independent, unquoted and ultimate holding companies.
International sales had to exceed £1m - Simpsons Malt’s were £9.7m in 2013 - be at least 5% of total sales in the latest accounts and show a rise from the penultimate to the latest year. Total sales had to exceed £25m in the latest accounts and operating profit had to be positive.
Simpsons Malt features alongside companies including Brompton, Skyscanner and Agent Provocateur, Alexander Dennis and DK Engineering.
Richard Simpson, vice-chairman of Simpsons Malt, said: “This is a recognition of all the efforts by our colleagues here at the Home of Good Malt, in producing the universally attractive qualities of a great product and service.
“It is a privilege to be on this list alongside other companies who we respect in the northeast and further afield.”
Ian Stuart, head of HSBC UK Commercial Banking, commented: “The Sunday Times International Track 200 continues to provide an interesting insight into the important contribution privately-owned mid-market companies make to the UK economy, and this year’s league table symbolises the dynamism and innovation this group of companies with international ambitions are famed for.”