Employee Ownership Drives Growth of Fife Textiles Company

An award-winning Scottish technical textiles company, celebrating its 160th anniversary, is announcing ‘impressive’ profits despite a highly challenging year.

Scott and Fyfe, an employee-owned company based in Tayport, Fife, started out as a linen works in 1864. Today, with a clear focus on design and innovation, the company’s 90-strong team provides high-performance solutions to countless industry challenges affecting sectors as diverse as agriculture, automotive and construction.

From engineering fabrics that reinforce structures to sustainable materials that reduce environmental impact, Scott and Fyfe allows clients to grasp new opportunities by transforming conceptual ideas into commercial innovations.

Scott & Fyfe Jim Markie

Jim Markie, Machine Operator. Credit – Donald Milne Photography.

Newly filed accounts for the year ending 31 December 2023 show sales of £18.2M with an operating (pre-tax) profit of £1.1M compared to £143,000 in 2022.  A net profit of £1.437M was achieved compared to £72,000 in 2022 and a loss of -£1.2M in 2021.  Meanwhile, with 94% of sales exported, sales to the USA and Canada have increased by 39%, with sales to the EU growing by 31%.

The news follows Scott and Fyfe’s success winning the Centre for Engineering, Education and Development (CeeD) Internationalisation Award in February.

scott & fyfe team

Scott & Fyfe team working within the Innovation Space. Credit – Donald Milne Photography.

Michelle Quadrelli, appointed Managing Director in January 2023 after 20 years’ service with the company, believes the accounts represent an ‘impressive turnaround’ for what is a ‘truly international business’ – “With increased costs and a raft of global, geopolitical challenges impacting many of our markets, 2023 began with an urgent need to balance activity and demand.

“In response to these shifts and our unwavering determination to explore fresh markets and introduce novel products, we created a robust pipeline of opportunities as we welcomed 2024. Our inventive expansions in pipe fabric technology and attachment solutions have fueled growth and enhanced business performance, countering a decline through market volatility within the irrigation sector.  Through these innovations, alongside some efficiencies, new pillars to our business have been created, offsetting the financial repercussions of certain market downturns.”

Scott & Fyfe Michelle

Michelle Quadrelli. Credit – Donald Milne Photography.

Ms Quadrelli also attributes the company’s success to Employee Ownership, adding, “Moving to Employee Ownership in 2013 has been a real game-changer for Scott and Fyfe, placing the reins of control in the hands of those who understand the company best, its employees. Only through their dedication and hard work can we achieve these outstanding results. A powerful driver of success, Employee Ownership allows us to create a more motivated, engaged, and aligned workforce who are willing to go the extra mile to achieve our shared goals. On behalf of the Board, I thank all Scott and Fyfe employee shareholders for their steadfast commitment and collective resolve.”

Looking to the future, Ms Quadrelli said, “As a highly international business, we are constantly navigating a raft of global challenges with technological advancements, heightened competition and evolving consumer expectations, further disrupted by unpredictable geopolitical uncertainties and economic fluctuations.  As we look to the future, we will continue to seize emerging opportunities and invest in existing and new growth markets through design and innovation, all while allowing employee-owners to earn and enjoy the benefits of share ownership.”

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