A HAMPSHIRE firm which makes radiation detection devices is glowing with pride after being ranked among Britain's top exporters.

Symetrica, based in North Baddesley, was number 15 in the Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s small and medium-sized private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

The firm saw its annual international sales growth rise by 133 per cent in the last two years to £9.8m, with exports making up more than 90 per cent of its sales.

Symetrica's biggest market is the US and they have an IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) contract worth £143m to supply their detectors to the Department of Homeland Security.

"We are a small company taking on the big guys in the US and beating at their own game," said Symetrica CEO Heddwynn Davies.

Symetrica employs 45 at North Baddesley, where many of its devices are manufactured, plus another 15 in Maynard, Massachusetts.

The company was founded in 2004 as a spin out from the University of Southampton by David Ramsden, the university's former head of physics and astronomy.

Mr Davies said the company had been boosted by a post-9/11 demand for devices that could detect a dirty bomb and their detectors are used at ports and borders all over the world.

The only other Hampshire company in the Export Track 100 is Segensworth-based touch screen firm TouchNetix which has seen its annual international sales grow by 74 per cent over the last two years to £4.8m with its largest markets in Germany and Switzerland.

The region’s top-ranked company is chip designer Ensilica, which is based in Wokingham and features for the first time. It develops specialist silicon chips and software for mobile phones and driverless cars, and it has offices in the US and India. The company’s international sales rose by an average of 187 per cent a year to £6.1m in 2017, placing it fifth nationally.

The latest league table illustrates how British companies are increasingly looking beyond their traditional export markets for growth, with more than 82 selling to countries outside Europe and the US, compared to 60 companies last year. The vast majority (93) say future international growth will come from outside Europe.

Gareth Oakley, managing director SME banking at Lloyds, said: “For businesses that take the leap to trade overseas, the rewards can be significant – the strong growth achieved by this year’s SME Export Track 100 is proof of that."