With five new concessions due to open in leading department stores over the next two months, Japan now leads the way to increased exports for the Ben Sherman branded clothing range.

Since the company became the subject of a management buyout two years ago it has steadfastly set its sights on taking the brand global.

And Ben Sherman's recently appointed chairman Miles Templeton (formerly marketing director for Levi Strauss Northern Europe) has declared his intention of putting even more emphasis on gaining overseas business in the months ahead. "By the end of the present trading year we aim to have sold more than 800,000 garments overseas," he says.

As well as the Japanese retail projects now being set up in conjunction with the Gunze Sanyo Corporation, Ben Sherman will be seeking to expand sales in both Germany and Italy as well as to capitalise on its recent award as "Shirt Manufacturer of the Year" in the USA.

The firm adds that globally, Ben Sherman branded garment sales are now estimated to be worth in excess of £84 million a year.

By Sonia Roberts.