Eleksen Group Plc, the maker of smart fabrics integrated into clothing to control smartphones and MP3 players, saw its sales soar by 167% last year, boosted by developments with suit maker Bagir and fashion designer Ermenegildo Zegna.

The results, the company's first since joined AIM last year, included strong sales of GBP3.5m (US$7.0m) and a tripling of the number of control units sold.

However, the expense of achieving this AIM listing, as well as investing in personnel, meant full-year pretax loss widened to GBP4.22m from GBP2.73m.

Chief executive Robin Shephard said the company expects to see "both a significant broadening of our customer base in the wearables market and for Eleksen to build its presence in the mobile device market, following the strong finish for the Bluetooth keyboard in 2006."

The company also hopes to expand its geographic reach with new offices in San
Francisco and Hong Kong.

"San Francisco offers the ability to further strengthen our success in the US, our principal market, while a presence in Hong Kong will help us support our customers manufacturing needs while giving us access to potentially attractive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) partners in the region," Shephard explained.

Eleksen's core technology, ElekTex, enables fabric to be programmed, creating touch sensitive controls for a wide range of electronic devices.