Understanding Coats

Coats at a glance

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread company. Headquartered in the UK, we operate globally and in 2020 generated revenues of $1.2bn.

What we do

We deliver innovative and value add product and service solutions for our c.40,000 global customers to meet the design specifications they require.

Our products are a small but critical component in international global industries such as Apparel & Footwear, Telecoms and Energy, Personal Protection and Automotive industries.

Sustainability is at the heart of our core business values. We look to do business at all times in an ethical manner, respectful of our environment, and delivering peace of mind for our customers. Each year we aim to produce more from less of the planet’s resources.

Whilst our industry was significantly impacted by Covid during 2020 we were able to use our flexible business model to maintain robust financial performance.

2020 Revenue 

$1.2bn Group revenues


$28m Free Cash Flow

9.5% Operating margins


22% Return on Capital Employed

Where we operate

Headquartered in the UK and quoted on the London Stock Exchange, we have a global sales presence and digital platforms to enable us to serve customers wherever they are located. Our unrivalled global reach and footprint serve as one of our competitive advantages.

Where Coats operates Sales in around
Customers globally
Years of textiles experience

How we operate: Our Sustainability Strategy

Our strategy ‘Pioneering a sustainable future’ focuses on five priority areas:

  • Water
  • Energy
  • Effluent & emissions
  • Social
  • Living sustainably

We launched our strategy in 2019 with challenging targets for 2022 and 2024. We have continued to make good progress towards these goals notwithstanding the considerable disruption caused by Covid, but not all the actions that we planned for 2020 were achievable in the circumstances. This was especially the case with our Social targets (for details go to sustainability).

While this means that we have more to achieve in the time remaining to deliver on our targets, we are holding to our commitments and not extending the strategy horizon or reducing our ambition. Action plans have been revised to accelerate progress in 2021.

Apparel & Footwear

2020 revenue: $823m
2020 operating profit: $96m (11.6% margin)

We are the trusted value-adding partner, providing critical supply chain components and services to the $1.8tn (pre-Covid) global Apparel & Footwear industry. Our portfolio of world class products and services exist to serve the needs and requirements of our customers and brand owners.

Our industry was significantly impacted by Covid during 2020, as large-scale lockdown activities impacted a number of our end customers. Local lockdown activities also impacted our supply chain, and our own operations, particularly during Q2.


Main customer markets

We ultimately supply products and services to premium global brands across many markets such as mid-market, premium lifestyle, value / mass, Fast Fashion, luxury / affordable luxury, footwear, and apparel tailoring.
30,000 4,000
Apparel & Footwear manufacturers Retailers & brands
Product type End uses Key Coats brands
Apparel & Footwear and accessories threads
(c.85% of A&F sales)
Sport / athleisure, denim, ladieswear, menswear, children’s wear, leather wear, workwear, footwear, and intimates and underwear Epic, Dual Duty, Seamsoft, Nylbond, Gral, Gramax, Astra, Sylko, CoatsKnit and EcoVerde
Zips, trims and crafting
(c.14% of sales)
Zips, interlinings, reflective tapes, and crafting products (Latin America) Opti, Signal and Connect
Software solutions
(c.1% of sales)
Enabling supply chain productivity gains, increasing speed of supply and facilitating compliance Coats Digital – including FastReactPlan, VisionPLM, GSDCost, Intellocut and Intellobuy

Performance Materials

2020 revenue: $341m
2020 operating profit: $15m (4.4% margins)

We are experts in the design and supply of a diverse range of technical products that serve a variety of strategic end-use markets.

Derived from our longstanding global market-leading Apparel & Footwear thread expertise, which has been built up over 250 years, we are able to provide highly engineered solutions to meet our customers’ needs by incorporating specific design features into various thread and yarn-based products.

Covid caused disruption during 2020 to a number of our end use markets, although due to diverse customer / end-use, business was not impacted quite as severely as Apparel & Footwear.


Main customer markets

These include highly engineered applications for the Telecoms and Energy sector, Personal Protection clothing and solutions for the Transportation sector.
PM customers
 End use sector  End uses Key Coats brands
Telecoms and Energy
(c.15% of PM sales)
Protective layers for cables / steel replacement composites Gotex, Ultrabloc, XTRU, Gral Binder, Protos Ripcord and Dabond Ultrabloc
Personal Protection
(c.40% of sales)
Combining comfort, safety and protection – fire retardant and cut resistant threads and yarns Firefly, Flamepro and Armoren
(c.10% of sales)
High performance threads and yarns for various parts of the automotive industry Neophil, Synergex, Lattice and Webflex
Household and Recreation
(c.20% of sales)
Everyday consumer applications, including bedding, quilting and outdoors Gral Quilt, Protos Fil, Epic, Gramax and Admiral
Other Industrial Applications
(c.15% of sales)
Various other technical applications for light / strong / flexible / innovative threads and yarns Astra FH, Stricose, Admiral FH, Prolene, Gral and Helios