Page last updated at 10:26 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Knitwear firm escapes recession

Coloured wools
The company benefited from the weakness of the pound for exports

A Borders knitwear company has reported strong financial results thanks to haute couture sales and the weak pound.

Hawick-based Barrie Knitwear - part of Dawson International - saw "significant increases" in both its profits and turnover last year.

Sales of high quality cashmere and a favourable exchange rate have helped the company's performance.

However, the firm remains cautious for the year ahead as many orders were made before the economic downturn.

Dawson International chief executive Andy Bartmess said the Barrie business was doing well thanks to a number of factors.

"This is exactly the sort of company that should excel in Scotland," he said.

"It has got a workforce that is highly skilled dealing with very demanding customers and doing things that can't be done elsewhere in the world.

"They had quite a good year with very strong demand from their couture customers."

He added that changes in the exchange rate had also helped.

"Towards the end of the year they got a bit of help from currencies because they sell into Europe and the US and both of those currencies appreciated against the pound," he said.

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