‘Ones to Watch’ listing for fast-growing Bath glasses design firm

April 26, 2019

Bath-based eyewear design house INSPECS has been named as one of the 10 firms across the UK with exceptional growth potential.

The firm, based in Bath’s old Gas Light and Coke building on Upper Bristol Road, was selected from a 30-strong shortlist to appear in the ‘Ones to Watch’ section of the prestigious Sunday Times Fast Track Profit 100. 

INSPECS, which was founded in 1988, made the final list of 10 selected on the strength of its management, challenges overcome, innovation, past growth and future prospects. 

The firm, which also has offices in Portugal, the US, China and Vietnam, was recognised for producing 8m frames annually for international brands.

Its earnings this year are forecast to reach a record £9.5m from around £6.2m last year. Sales last year were £45m.

The overall winner will be chosen by a panel of judges including Just Eat co-founder David Buttress, BDO partner Stuart Lisle and Fast Track founder Hamish Stevenson.

The business will then be presented with a special award at the Profit Track 100 National Awards dinner in June. 

The 10 Profit Track Ones to Watch represent the ‘best of the rest’ from companies whose profit growth falls just short of the main Profit Track league table yet have shown good profit growth in the past and are set to grow rapidly in the future.

All shortlisted companies are visited by the Fast Track research team and assessed for inclusion.

INSPECS CEO Robin Totterman said: “At a time of great uncertainty, it’s a real milestone for INSPECS to be included in the top 10 ‘Ones to Watch’ alongside the Sunday Times Fast Track Profit 100 companies. 

“We took a conscious decision to relocate the company to Bath from London in the early 2000s and it has really paid off. Bath has been a fantastic talent pool for the creative and management teams who drive the growth of our company. The beautiful surroundings help us to be more strategic while enjoying a more balanced work/life environment.”

Now in its 14th year, the Profit Track 100 list has recognised many of Britain’s most successful private companies. Previous winners include household names such as Barbour and Moonpig, and more locally, Dyson. 

Robin Totterman added: “Our inclusion in this prestigious category comes hot on the heels of receiving Wylde IA’s ‘Happiest Workplace’ award (pictured with INSPECS staff), proving the immense importance of a company's culture to its overall success. 

“Our recognition in the Sunday Times Fast Tack Profit 100 list also highlights the valuable contribution that regional companies are making to the UK's economic growth – eight of the 10 shortlisted companies are headquartered outside London. There are still British success stories emerging, even in the current economic climate.”

The INSPECS group has grown significantly to a workforce of more than 1,300 over the past 18 months following the acquisition of Killine Group, which has extended the newly formed INSPECS Group’s reach with new factories in China and Vietnam and global design offices in Lisbon – the latest workspace to receive the INSPECS interior design signature. 

The firm produces branded eyewear under licence such as Superdry, HYPE. O’Neill, Radley, CATERPILLAR and Farah, and supplies private label and house brands factory-direct from the Killine arm of the business

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