Dozens of successful clothing manufacturers were celebrating today after being included in a prestigious new guide that names the best companies in the industry.

Chosen from 1,000 firms, the 50 companies included in Plimsoll Publishing's new "Trailblazers" Edition have been given its highest mark of distinction - Best Trading Partner for 2001.

Researchers chose them for their financial and commercial success as they move the industry forward by combining a strong balance sheet, good profitability and sound cash control while at the same time capturing market share.

Last year these 50 Best Trading Partners grew by 23 per cent on average, compared to the industry average of 0.6 per cent. Their average profit margins of 3.7 per cent were also above the industry average of 2 per cent.

They include Assorti Ltd, Burberry Ltd, Clone Zone Ltd, Dontai International Ltd, Gina Shoes Ltd, Lopex Leisurewear Ltd, Peacock's Stores Ltd, Rajan Imports Ltd, Speedo International Ltd and Traditional Weatherwear Ltd.

Among the firms given special mentions are Alexon Group Plc whose market share increased by 49 per cent last year and CastleBlair Group Ltd which was incorporated in 1982 and which grew more than 16 per cent last year.

Copies of the guide are priced at £395 each.