Ling Design’s Holding Company Is One Of UK’s Fastest Growing Exporters

Swan Mill Holdings, the holding company that includes Ling Design and Penny Kennedy, is one of the UK’s top 200 mid market private companies with the fastest growing overseas sales.

Ling Design’s holding company, Swan Mill Holdings has been highlighted in the International Track 200 league table.
Ling Design’s holding company, Swan Mill Holdings has been highlighted in the International Track 200 league table.

The Swanley-based company features in Fast Track’s International Track 200 league table in 187th place, with 27.8% of its sales (£11.8 million) having come from overseas on average over the last two years.

The league table is produced by Fast Track, a respected research company with the results published by the Sunday Times.

David Byk, ceo of the company at the recent PG Live.
David Byk, ceo of the company at the recent PG Live.

In its sharing of this year’s line-up, the newspaper detailed how the company, which is headed by 50 year old David Byk, makes 30 million metres of giftwrap, 30 million crackers and five billion napkins, each year at its factories in Kent and Wales. It also has a distribution and manufacturing hub in Hong Kong. As well as supplying Walmart in the States, the company also has customers in South Africa, Australia, Canada and Europe.

This month sees Ling launch a wealth of new products, including the funky graphics from the Fifth Avenue collection.
This month sees Ling launch a wealth of new products, including the funky graphics from the Fifth Avenue collection.

As David Byk, ceo told PG in March, shortly after it had concluded the deal to buy the Saffron card publishing business, the broad reach of the £60 million turnover group (of which Ling Design represents £10 million) means he has a very varied working life.

“It can be a bit hectic – this week alone I started in Wales checking on crackers and wrap production, then went to Bath to poke my nose on the creative hub, then here in Swanley to oversee the napkins business and then off to the Far East at the weekend,” says David. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

The minimum rate required to achieve a place in the International Track 200 league table has leapt from an average of 16% a year over two years in 2017 to 25% this year.

This new football design from the At Home range will go down well given World Cup fever.
This new football design from the At Home range will go down well given World Cup fever.

Other companies with affiliations to the greeting card and gift trade that appear in this year’s Fast Track International Track 200 are gift company, Paladone (in 57th position); Harrogate Home & Gifts/Top Drawer owner, Clarion Events (110th); toy wholesaler John Adams (125th); games company Winning Moves (128th), children’s book publisher, Usborne Publishing (137th) and gift company NPW (182nd position).

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