Global export success for Bute Fabrics

Local firm Bute Fabrics Ltd has announced a year-on-year increase of 40 per cent in its turnover - as well as doubling its exporting activity in Scandinavia to £250,000 and reaching export sales of more than £1 million in the United States.

The announcement co-incided with the delivery of a tailor-made upholstery fabric, manufactured at the firm’s base in Rothesay’s Barone Road, to Singapore’s Opera House - the latest episode in an ambitious growth plan achieved in conjunction with Scottish Development International (SDI) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

James Sprint, Bute Fabrics’ managing director, said: “We are an ambitious Scottish manufacturer which realises that if we want to grow, we need to win new orders, in new countries, from new customers and through new intermediaries.

“SDI has been proactive in setting up outward and inward missions and introducing wide networks of contacts to us. This has helped us enter into contracts with export partners who have provided us with the key to unlock the door to sizeable sales in foreign markets.

“This dual approach has helped us to seek out new opportunities and to respond to inquiries we might not otherwise have received ourselves.

“We greatly appreciate the support given by HIE and SDI towards our growth plans.”

Bute Fabrics specialises in weaving fabric for high traffic areas such as airports, public buildings and auditoria. Its success contributes to the £295 million generated each year in exports by Scotland’s textile sector.

With the help of SDI field offices in America and Russia, the company has developed a fully integrated relationship with Designtex and agreed a co-branding partnership across all of North America.

The company now has its sights set on a number of other significant “push” countries and this week, James and his team are travelling to Russia to meet up with a new partner, Kimberley Expertise, which has five staff working across the breadth of the Russian Federation, a partnership which it is anticipated will result in a high increase in sales.

Closer to home, and as featured in The Buteman earlier this year, the company has also been commissioned by the Society of William Wallace to produce their new tartan which will be sold worldwide.

SDI senior executive Fiona Maclachlan, who has been working closely with Bute Fabrics Ltd, providing advice and guidance and supporting their exporting efforts through areas such as research, market visits and developing strategic alliance, ssaid: “Bute Fabrics Ltd is exactly the kind of company we want to work with. It is highly ambitious to grow and is collaborating with the right people to make that growth happen.

“We’ve worked closely with the team, helping them understand their overseas market opportunities and what they need to do to capture a share of them.

“Working with companies such as Bute Fabrics will help us meet our target of increasing exporting activities within the textiles sector by 50 per cent by 2017.”