South Tyneside's Barbour boosts sales to £152m

Strong performance at Barbour led to a £9m dividend payout for shareholders

Dame Margaret Barbour
Dame Margaret Barbour

Clothing company Barbour has seen turnover soar to £152.3m in a successful trading year buoyed by its new ecommerce platform.

South Shields-headquartered J Barbour & Sons, which trades as Barbour, show sales grew from £136.9m to £152.4m in 2013, while pre-tax profits also rose from £24.3m to £29.7m.

The firm said it had seen growth in its primary wholesale division of 5% while retail and ecommerce rose 42%, growth triggered by new store openings around the world and the launch of Barbour.com 13 months ago.

Strong performance over 2013 triggered a dividend payment of £9m.

While wax jackets may be the iconic product of the firm, which was first started by John Barbour in 1894, the firm extended its offering in 2000 to include a whole wardrobe range of clothes and accessories, including knitwear, shirts, trousers and footwear, all of which are selling well across the globe.

The directors’ report accompanying the accounts said: “The group has continued to perform strongly in a competitive marketplace and remains focused on the long term vision as a true global lifestyle brand.

“New markets are being explored and planned brand activity supporting the strategy with continue to enhance the awareness of the lifestyle products available from Barbour.

“The challenges ahead will continue and all risks will be closely monitored to ensure the growth of the brand continues as part of the long term plan.”

During the year the firm, best loved by rock stars, royalty and farmers for its iconic waxed products, unveiled its first Barbour International store in London’s Piccadilly, focusing on Barbour International – a range inspired by its less well-known links to motorcycling.

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