Kirriemuir Firm’s Deal with Hong Kong Police

The Kirriemuir firm has been at the forefront of innovation in the technical textile sector for 150 years and has a global footprint that includes manufacturing facilities in Scotland, China and India.

Recently filed accounts for the J&D Wilkie Ltd show an increase in sales from £9.4 million to £13.2m and a pre-tax profit of £36,000 for the year ending June 30.

The accounts of parent company, J&D Wilkie (Holding Company) Ltd — which include a range of other research and development, engineering and textile businesses — show turnover increased by 35% to £25.3m. Pre-tax profits almost doubled from £1m to £1.9m.

The group’s Jack Ellis Body Protection recently won a contract worth £1.6m to supply protective vests to the Hong Kong police and customs authorities.

Following this significant contract win, the firm invested in state of the art automatic cutting machinery which will allow it to increase the speed and quality of production.

J&D Wilkie’s managing director Jean-Christophe Granier described the deal as a “watershed moment”.

He added: “It recognises we have the right people, working hard in the right direction, to release the undeniable potential of our advanced textile technology in our global market.”

Wilkie has been operating in China since 2007 and in 2015 opened a £5m purpose built factory in Jiaxing, near Shanghai.

The company has been assisted in its international deals by Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise.

The firm recently attended the Scotland Is Now Showcase in Beijing as part of its drive for global sales.

Speaking at the showcase, Julian Taylor, executive director for Asia Pacific at Scottish Development International, said: “I am delighted to see the significant growth of this innovative Scottish company.

“The group has developed its market leading advanced textile technology products to stay relevant in an industry whose origins date back hundreds of years, winning new customers.

“Their business has world leading manufacturing in both China and Scotland, demonstrating both innovation and collaboration.”

During the financial year the group took a £386,000 writedown on the carrying value of its wholly owned Indian subsidiary Stewart Pinned Products Private Ltd, which specialises in manufacturing precision engineered machine parts.

The firm said this was due to “adverse events” in the pan Indian market.

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