Profits at the group, which spans four west of Scotland leather manufacturers and one technology company, have now risen by more than 50% in two years, enabling the group to open a new plant and increase its headcount from 480 to the current 550.
Scottish Leather Group (SLG) accounts just available at Companies House show last year's sales were up from £98 million to £119m, an uplift of 21%, operating profit up from £7m to £8.5m and pre-tax profit climbing from £7.2m to £8.7m, a rise of 22%.
SLG said the numbers reflected an "outstanding business performance" last year.
It went on: "An exceptionally busy period of product launches in key industries for our group has contributed significantly to these results.
"We are re-investing these returns in the future growth of the business, for example the new factory at Bridge of Weir which has recently started production."
Writing in the annual report the directors, led by chairman Jonathan Muirhead, say the firm's "momentum and resilience bore fruit" in the strong sales and profit performance.
"Despite the high level of raw material prices, influenced by a combination of fewer hides available globally and a strong worldwide demand for leather, our cash position has improved due to effective inventory control at all companies."
The group, which has two joint ventures in Shangdong, China, has benefited from a ramping up of production by Volvo, now in Chinese ownership, adding to buoyant demand from premium carmakers including Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover. Last month, the Andrew Muirhead subsidiary at Dalmarnock in Glasgow, founded in 1840, won a £1m-plus contract with Malaysia Airlines for its updated fleet, adding to the group's partnerships with BA, Virgin and Emirates.
SLG's accounts list 14 key performance indicators – seven financial and seven environmental. All the financial indicators are positive, including return on capital up from 15.6% to 17.4%, stock turnover up sharply from 6.8% to 10.1%, creditor days down from 32 to 25, accidents down, and both sales and profits per employee up healthily. The environmental scores are mixed, but the business has a zero waste strategy and a privately-funded £6m thermal energy plant, which is a world first for the leather industry. The group has recently established the SLG Academy to encourage young people to consider a career in the industry. It offers work placements to fifth and sixth-year pupils from local schools, while 20 employees have so far taken up the opportunity to gain an accredited qualification in leather production.
The cash position improved by £1.6m in the year, leaving it with no debt and £9m of funds, and its balance sheet shows a £3.7m rise in shareholder funds to £50m.
The highest-paid director, assumed to be Mr Muirhead, received £160,964, up from £153,243. The Muirhead and Lang families own more than 90% of Scottish Leather Group, with the rest held by the workforce.