A LIGHTING company founded by a former Porsche racing driver has been named as one of the British businesses with the fastest-growing international sales.

North Dorset-based Dextra figures on the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table along with the Bournemouth-based sales and marketing agency Ceuta.

Dextra, headquartered at Brickfields Business Park in Gillingham, was founded in 1978 by Rupert Martin, 69, who went on to drive in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

The company provides energy-efficient LED lighting to the likes of Tesco and DHL.

It earned £3.7million in exports, out of total sales of £68m, in 2017, and recorded average two-year growth in international sales of 117 per cent. It employs 531 staff.

Mr Martin rose 211 places to number 582 on last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, with a fortune estimated at £200million.

Ceuta, based in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, provides “brand outsourcing” services, with offices in the USA, Netherlands, Thailand and Ireland.

Its exports were worth £39m of its £97m total, with an average two-year growth in international sales of 103 per cent. The company employs 323 people.

Topping the national league table for growth in international sales was the Solihull-based sports clothing brand Gumshark.

The top-ranked company in the south west was Bristol-based recruitment consultancy Opus Talent Solutions.

The International Track league table is marking its 10th anniversary. Previous high-flyers in the league table have included the Poole-based global cosmetics brand Lush.

The league table is compiled by the Oxford-based research and networking events firm Fast Track.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at the league table’s sponsor HSBC UK, said: “All the businesses it showcases have truly inspiring stories to tell about creativity, resilience and ambition to succeed.

“The 13 companies in the south west of England are putting the region firmly on the map.

“They are the kinds of enterprises we are thrilled to support and that provide the backbone of our economy, today and tomorrow.”

The average international sales growth for the 200 companies was 69 per cent a year. Together they employ 140,000 staff, having added 38,000 employees to their combined workforce over the period.