14 companies from North West win places on league table of Britain’s fastest growing profit starsFollow @PwC_North
Published on 15 April for a 13th year, the Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years of available audited accounts‡.
Despite the tough economic climate, the 14 companies headquartered in the northwest of England (compared with eight last year) have made a significant contribution to the local economy. Together they employ 14,524 people, having added 2,324 jobs over the last three years and generated combined profits of £146.7m.
The top company in the region is Manchester-based Airline Services, making its second consecutive appearance on the league table. The company provides maintenance services to 160 airlines including Air France and Scandinavia’s SAS. Last month LDC bought a minority stake in a deal that valued the company at around £40m. Profits grew an average 106% a year over three years to £5m in 2010.
One company making its Profit Track 100 debut is Liverpool cotton merchant Plexus Cotton. Led by chairman and founder Nick Earlam, the company owns a network of cotton producing operations in Africa, and sells this cotton to the textiles industry. Profits grew an average 84% a year over three years to £8.3m in 2010.
Making its fourth consecutive appearance is Tangerine Confectionery, which is based in Blackpool. The firm makes classic confectionery such as Wine Gums, Liquorice Allsorts and Butterkist Popcorn, and is backed by private equity house Blackstone. Profits grew an average 57% a year over three years to £13.7m in 2010.
The companies in the northwest of England feature on the league table alongside well-known brands such as child car seat manufacturer Britax Childcare, lifestyle retailer Cath Kidston, shoe maker Dr Martens, fashion retailer Jack Wills, café operator Patisserie Valerie, and cinema operator Vue Entertainment.
Private companies with the fastest-growing profits in the North West
Alison Lever, Partner and Head of Private Business at PwC, the title sponsor of the league table for the 13th year, commented on the region’s success stories:
“It's great to see these local privately-owned companies delivering sustained profit growth and making such a positive contribution to the economy. These 14 companies had combined profits of £146.7m and show how private businesses and their owners can help drive regional economic growth and development in the North West.”
The national picture
Despite tough economic conditions, the 100 companies on the league table grew their profits over the last three years by an average of 70% a year to combined profits of £1.2bn in their latest available audited accounts. Together they employed 60,750 staff, having added 23,600 employees to their workforce during this time – some as a result of acquisitions.
However, the effects of the downturn are reflected in the fact that 23 companies showed a drop in margins in their latest year.
In terms of sectors on the league table, there are 46 service companies; and one-third (34) of companies on the table are involved in the retail and consumer industries.
Most of the companies are based in London (35) and the southeast (19). The remainder breaks down as follows: north (22), Midlands (15), Scotland (3), east (2), Northern Ireland (2), southwest (1) and Wales (1).
The full findings were published in a special ten-page supplement with the business section of The Sunday Times on 15 April and on www.fasttrack.co.uk.
The league table is compiled by Fast Track, Britain’s leading research and networking-events company focusing on top-performing private firms and entrepreneurs. Title sponsorship was provided by PwC, and main sponsorship by Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets and UBS Wealth Management.
Email: Alison Lever
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 4079