Coats in Action

  • Building
    Acquisition Patrick Yarn Mill acquired boosting our innovation and sustainability offer.

    Patrick Yarn Mill acquisition: innovative technologies and a sustainability focus

    In December 2017 we acquired Patrick Yarn Mill, a US-based manufacturer of high-performance engineered yarns. Patrick Yarn Mill uses recycled fibres under its ‘earthspun’ trademark and can manufacture yarns using machines powered by solar panels allowing it to offer products under its unique ‘Spun by the Sun’ trademark. This acquisition supports a key aspect of our growth strategy: to identify innovation synergies that build scale in high technology sectors.


    Patrick Yarn Mill sales in 2017
    Find out more

  • Woman and man reading a book
    Culture Encouraging employees to reflect still further on ethical behavior.
    Woman and man reading a book

    Ensuring our people are ‘Doing the right thing’

    In the year we launched a programme called ‘Doing the right thing’ which encourages employees to reflect on the importance of ethical behaviour in their working lives. We remain proud of our employee engagement score, which measures our performance in delivering an effective and efficient work place culture.


    Our employee engagement score in 2017 (2016: 83%).
    Find out more CR Standards

  • Close-up view of grass
    Sustainability Launch of Epic EcoVerde, an industry first.
    Close-up view of grass

    Launch of Epic EcoVerde, an industry first

    This year our Apparel and Footwear business achieved an industry first when we launched Epic EcoVerde, a 100% recycled premium thread made from post-consumer waste.


    Post-consumer recycled core spun thread.
    Find out more

  • Coats' logo on a wall
    Dividend Increased in line with our commitment to shareholders.
    Coats' logo on a wall

    Dividend increased in line with our progressive dividend policy

    This year, in line with our progressive dividend policy, the Board has proposed a final dividend of 1.00c per share, making the total dividend for 2017 1.44c per share, a 15% increase on 2016 (on a pro-forma basis).


    Increase in dividend per share.
    Find out more

  • Web of information from hand
    Innovation Prioritising innovation to benefit our customers.
    Web of information from hand

    Launch of the Coats Global Innovation Forum and innovative products

    During 2017 we launched our Global Innovation Forum – an internal group with a remit to foster a culture of sharing innovative ideas and focusing on new avenues of growth and profitability, and we have also invested in developing innovation hubs in the US, Turkey and China. In 2017 more than 20% of our organic Performance Materials revenues were in relation to products that did not exist 5 years ago – for example our composites sales in 2017 were $10m.


    of 2017 organic sales from new products that didn't exist 5 years ago.

  • World globe with data
    Digitisation Using digital to provide efficient solutions to our customers.
    World globe with data

    Continued expansion of our eCommerce web and app platforms

    Digital is an important way for us to stay relevant to our customers and make it easier to do business with Coats. This year, over 80% of our Apparel and Footwear orders were placed through our market leading online platform. We also launched a mobile app for resellers in India, giving them a fast and convenient way to check the status of orders without having to use the full version of eCommerce.


    Apparel and Footwear orders placed through our online platform.


Mike Clasper

Chairman’s statement

To make considered and bold decisions requires thoughtful discussion within the Board and a deep understanding of our stakeholders...

Mike Clasper

Rajiv Sharma

Group Chief Executive’s statement

I am reporting on the company this year from the vantage point of our newly-acquired status as a member of the FTSE 250.

Rajiv Sharma


Revenue ($m)

Revenue chart

Adjusted Operating Profit ($m)

Adjusted operating profit chart

Adjusted Basic Earnings per Share (c)

Adjusted basic earnings per share chart

Return on Capital Employed (%)*

Return on capital employed chart

Employee Engagement Score (%)


Employee Engagement Score Chart

Recordable Accident Rate*

(per 100 Full Time Employees)

Recordable Accident Rate Chart

These are ‘Alternative Performance Measures’ – See PDF report note 37 for full details.

2016 figure restated, please see page 15 of full PDF report for full details.

At a Glance

We are the world's leadng industrial thread manufacturer and major player in America's textile crafts.




Revenue by segment chart

68% Apparel & Footwear

18% Performance Materials

14% Crafts

Revenue by region chart

31% Americas

18% EMEA

51% Asia

World map


Manufacturing Site



Sales presence in over 100 countries


Manufacturing sites




Apparel & Footwear
2017: $1,021m (2016: $975m)

The trusted, value adding partner to the global Apparel and Footwear (‘A&F’) industry – providing a portfolio of world class products and services to meet the needs of customers and brands.

Our product end use areas:

  • A&F Accessories
  • A&F Threads
  • Zips
  • Trims
  • Software solutions

Performance Materials
2017: $276m (2016: $246m)

Traditional product end uses include:

  • Outdor
  • Home textiles
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Tea bags
  • Bedding
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Filtration
  • Sports goods

Hi-tech product end uses include:

  • Automotive
  • Composites
  • Fibre optics
  • Flame retardant
  • Extrusion
  • Engineered performance fabrics
  • Knits
  • Tyre cord



(18% of Group)

Americas Crafts

Foundation and fashion handknitting yarns, threads, zips and various needlecraft items.

Key brands

  • Red Heart
  • Coats & Clark
  • Dual Duty XP
  • Anchor
  • Cisne

Growth Strategy

Our strategy is shaped in response to our market, and is designed to ensure continued growth and outperformance in our key divisions.

Profitable sales growth


We rely on developing strong customer relationships. This means responding to our customer needs with relevant products and services.

For A&F we ensure we constantly develop our leading consumer brands and strong market positions.

Within Performance Materials, we are focusing on hi-tech and new technology sectors where we can build scale through technology and innovation.

Finally, for Crafts this means focusing on consumer marketing, product innovation and digital offerings.

Performance in 2017



Adjusted operating profit growth



Solid growth, leading product portfolios and relationships with leading brands

Perfomance Materials

Solid growth supported by successful integration of Gotex following acquisition, double digit organic growth in hi-tech end uses.


Declining sales due to challenging market conditions and business interruption following the tornado that hit Georgia distribution facility in January 2017.

Increased productivity

We continually look at initiatives to make savings in the areas of productivity, procurement and SD&A. These include expanding our network of Lean and Six Sigma experts, reducing electricity, fossil fuel and water consumption and increasing sales and productivity per employee. These initiatives help to offset factors such as structural labour, energy and raw material inflation and support operating margins.

Performance in 2017

Operating margins

Improved at 11.5% (2016: 10.8%).


Productivity and sourcing gains

Track record of delivering manufacturing productivity and non-raw material sourcing gains: $10–20m pa (2013–17).

$10–20m pa

Maintained ROCE

Maintained at 35%. Including planned $10m increase in capital expenditure.


Value delivery


We aim to add superior value to our customers through our offer of unique products, services and digital solutions. For our employees, we endeavour to deliver a value proposition where they can develop to their fullest potential within a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace. Ultimately this will help to drive shareholder value through the successful implementation of our strategy – balancing our growth and efficiency agenda.

Performance in 2017

Share gains

In A&F, driving growth despite mixed market demand.


Employee engagement

Employee engagement of 83% retaining our place in top 10% of all global companies surveyed.

Top 10%

Shareholder dividend

Earnings and cash growth, resulting in dividend growth of 15%.



Our Corporate Responsibility programme is integrated with our business strategy and helps us build and maintain both our reputation and our relationships with key stakeholders.

Our material issues

This year we have taken a new look at what’s important to us as a business and to establish some key areas of focus for our Corporate Responsibility programme. This chart illustrates the areas identified as important both to our business and to our stakeholders. During 2018 we will continue to develop plans and targets for the material issues affecting our business.

Responsibility chart

2017 Responsibility Highlights

Coats' employees at Global Ethics Day 2017


Ethics Day

Global Ethics Day run across the world to reinforce our programme for ‘Doing the Right Thing’.

Happy man and woman looking at notepad



employees now have access to our global D&I network and more than 4,000 of our employees took part in D&I initiatives during 2017.




First ever 100% post-consumer recycled core spun thread developed and launched, under the EcoVerde brand family.

Manufacturing plant



reduction in water usage per kg of dyed product compared to 2016 (26% reduction in last 5 years).

Solar panels



reduction in greenhouse emissions per kilo of dyed product compared to 2016 (4.3 kg CO2e per kg of dyed product compared to 4.6 in 2016).

Happy people making Christmas cookies



Almost 7,500 volunteer hours dedicated and 140 community engagement plans completed across 45 different operating sites.

Group supplier workshop photograph



face-to-face supplier engagement workshops across 15 countries (targeting over 80% of our key suppliers).