Employee Ownership Underpins Scott and Fyfe’s Incredible Turnaround

Scott and Fyfe, a pioneering technical textiles company, has announced impressive profits which it attributes in part to employee ownership.

Image: Michelle Quadrelli MD of Scott and Fyfe (credit: Donald Milne Photography)

Scott and Fyfe, a pioneering technical textiles company celebrating its 160th anniversary, has announced impressive profits for the year ending December 31, 2023. Despite facing significant challenges, the company's commitment to employee ownership has been a cornerstone of its remarkable turnaround, showcasing the resilience and effectiveness of EO.

The latest financial figures underscore the robust performance of Scott and Fyfe, reflecting the positive outcomes of embracing employee ownership. 

With sales reaching £18.2 million and an operating (pre-tax) profit of £1.1 million, compared to £143,000 in the previous year, the company has demonstrated substantial growth. 

Notably, the company achieved a net profit of £1.437 million, a stark contrast to £72,000 in 2022 and a loss of -£1.2 million in 2021. 

Michelle Quadrelli, Managing Director since January 2023, attributes this success to a combination of factors – including strategic innovations and the resilience instilled by employee ownership.

"The past year posed numerous challenges, from escalating costs to geopolitical uncertainties. However, our dedication to exploring new markets and developing innovative products has propelled us forward," she says. 

"Our focus on pipe fabric technology and attachment solutions has not only driven growth but has also mitigated the impact of market volatility within the irrigation sector."

Quadrelli emphasised the pivotal role of EO in Scott and Fyfe's success, stating, "The transition to employee ownership in 2013 marked a turning point for Scott and Fyfe. 

“By empowering our employees to steer the company's direction, we've fostered a culture of dedication and ownership. It's their hard work and commitment that have led to these outstanding results."

Echoing her sentiments, James de le Vingne, CEO of the EOA, says: "Scott and Fyfe's success story is a testament to the strength of the employee owned business model. 

"By placing control in the hands of employees, they've not only driven profits but have also demonstrated resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges. 

“Not only does this highlight the positive impact of employee ownership on business performance but underscores its role in fostering economic growth."

Scott and Fyfe's results reflect a broader trend highlighted in our ‘People Powered Growth’ report. 

With employee owners being 8-12% more productive and significantly contributing to the UK economy, Scott and Fyfe's story truly showcases the potential of EO to drive success and create value.

As Scott and Fyfe looks ahead to the future, Quadrelli reaffirmed the company's commitment to innovation and growth. 

"As we navigate an increasingly complex business landscape, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of excellence," she says. 

"Through continued investment in design and innovation, coupled with the empowerment of our employee-owners, we are poised to seize new opportunities and drive sustainable growth."

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