Home   News   Article

Highland based marine manufacturer makes waves on export league table


By Calum MacLeod

50% off a six-month digital e-edition subscription with promo code '50OFF'



Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham (centre) at the company's Canadian base in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, with Gael Force Canada colleagues Darren Lane and Anthony Balmer.
Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham (centre) at the company's Canadian base in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, with Gael Force Canada colleagues Darren Lane and Anthony Balmer.

A marine manufacturing company with its roots in the Western Isles and its base in Inverness, has been named Scotland's fast-growing international sales success.

Gael Force, which is headquartered in Merkich, was the highest placed Scottish business on the 12th annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table and the only one to make the UK Top 10 with seventh place.

Sponsored by HSBC and DHL Express, and compiled by Oxford-based research and networking events firm Fast Track, the league table ranks the overseas sales of Britain’s mid-market private companies.

Gael Force Group, which manufactures marine equipment for the aquaculture industry, saw its exports grow an average of 190 per cent per year over its last two years as it opened a base in Canada, to hit £6.6 million in 2019, on total sales of £41.9 million.

It was one of 10 Scottish based businesses to make this year's league table, up from eight the previous year, with other successes on the list including Glasgow online fashion retailer Oh Polly and Aberdeenshire brewer BrewDog.

One of the feeding barges built by Gael Force for the Canadian branch of aquaculture industry leader Mowi.
One of the feeding barges built by Gael Force for the Canadian branch of aquaculture industry leader Mowi.

Managing director Stewart Graham, who founded the firm on the Isle of Lewis aged just 18, said: “Our inclusion in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 is a welcome piece of news and great recognition of our strategic focus on export market development over recent years and the quality of our sector’s supply chain.

"We, like many other businesses, are facing extremely challenging times resulting from the effects of the Covid pandemic, therefore, our strong strategic mindset and direction as demonstrated through the recognition from our listing in the Track 200 will be important in the months ahead as we look towards our next period of growth.

"We also recognise the success of many fellow Scottish businesses included in the listing whose achievement in exports have in many ways been much greater than ours.”

Gael Force, which established its Inverness base in 1990, now employs some 250 staff across Scotland, England and Canada, and is also involved in the commercial and leisure marine markets.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking, HSBC UK, commented: “After a challenging start to 2021, all eyes are on the companies that will drive a return to growth in 2021. We are confident that the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of businesses such as those in Scotland listed on International Track 200 will carry them forward. These companies show the strength, ambition and resilience of businesses across the UK and are the sort of businesses we are proud to support every day.”


Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.


Get a digital copy of the Inverness Courier delivered straight to your inbox every week allowing you to swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper - it looks just like it does in print!

Sign up today and get 50% off a six-month subscription with promo code '50OFF'.

SUBSCRIBE NOW


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More
');