Skellerup, famous for making Red Band gumboots, is doing red-hot business selling to firefighters in Europe. The NZX-listed company announced a record half-year profit on Thursday with revenue of just over $120 million for the six months to December 31. And it noted that while sales of its Red Band gumboots for the domestic market remained “solid”, growth was coming from its international footwear sales “boosted by firefighting boots”.

Skellerup’s success in selling fire-resistant boots to UK and European firemen symbolises the business model behind the company’s resurgence, chief executive David Mair believes. Skellerup, said Mair, used to be seen as a “no-growth share that paid healthy dividends”, with returns that bounced around depending on the oil price.