As the largest privately owned greeting card publisher in the UK, Carte Blanche Group is best known for the much loved Me to You brand and its signature character, Tatty Teddy. Founded in 1987, Carte Blanche has grown from strength to strength, acquiring a number of greeting card brands, as well as branching out into gifts and toys and licensing its award winning brands with commercial success on an international scale.
Published this weekend, the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing international sales. This year Carte Blanche Group makes its debut into the awards. Ranked No 173, Carte Blanche boasts 24% growth in international sales over the past two years.
Carte Blanche International Sales and Licensing Director, Marc Dubery, comments: “Solid growth has come from a number of key markets including France, German and South Africa, as well as through the opening of our subsidiary offices in Australia. However, much of the growth we see is from our Russian market, where consumers have truly taken the brand to their hearts. We expect this growth to continue into 2015 and beyond as a number of key retailers are investing in dedicated Me to You areas in their stores across both our own proprietary product and our licensing range for a complete brand experience.”
There are 25 companies in the Southeast (compared to 30 last year) and they have made a significant contribution to the regional economy over the last two years. During this time they added 14,480 jobs and now employ a total of 87,090 people. Their combined sales are £2.9bn, and their international sales have grown by an average of 53% a year over two years to a total of £1.1bn.
Ian Stuart, Head of HSBC UK Commercial Banking, commented: “The Sunday Times International Track 200 continues to provide an interesting insight into the important contribution privately-owned mid-market companies make to the UK economy, and this year’s league table symbolises the dynamism and innovation this group of companies with international ambitions are famed for.”
John Willis, Carte Blanche Group’s Finance Director continues: “We are thrilled to be recognised in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 for our growth and achievements in expanding our business outside of the UK, as this has been an area of strategic focus for us with both our proprietary and licensed products. Me to You is a brand that truly transcends not only generational boundaries but also cultural and language barriers too and this latest honour is testament to the strength of our products and brands.”