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Harris Tweed Hebrides has seen a remarkable rebound in its fortunes following the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the latest financial filings by the Shawbost-based company, it has almost returned to its pre-COVID turnover.

In its 31/12/19 filing, around the time the deadly disease was first detected in China, the company reported a turnover of £8,343,298.

As COVID-19 encircled the globe, disrupting supply chains and depressing demand for Harris Tweed and every other commodity, the Shawbost mill took a hit. Reporting its turnover on 31/12/20, the first year of the pandemic, Harris Tweed Hebrides saw turnover freefall by almost a third, 28.3%, to £5,983,805.

But over the last two years’ financial figures, Harris Tweed Hebrides has clawed its way back to within spitting distance of its pre-COVID turnover.

By the end of 2021, the Shawbost tweed concern had pulled in an extra 7.9% on the previous year.

But by far, the biggest progress in turnover recovery was reported on 31/12/22. For the year, Harris Tweed Hebrides booked a 27.3% increase in turnover, taking the total to £8,212,162, just £131,136 short of pre-pandemic levels. Percentage-wise, the increase was almost equivalent to the body-blow decline in turnover in 2020.

However, the turnaround is not just in turnover; every other major performance indicator, exports, gross, operating and pre-tax profits, has shot up.

Exports for the year ending 31/12/22 hit £4,244,653, an increase of 25.8% on the previous year and almost half a million up on the 2019 figure of £3,751,572.

Meanwhile, gross, operating and pre-tax profits are also in the black, up 18.1%, 18.5%, and 20.3%, respectively, from the previous year and around the figures filed at the end of 2019.