New report reveals profit and job growth for the East Midlands’ top 200 businesses

The East Midlands 200 top performing businesses have grown profits by an average 35% and employment by 8%, and together provide more than 48,000 jobs, according to the findings of this year’s East Midlands Top 200 Report produced by the regional office of business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP in partnership with the CBI.

Now in its sixth year, the East Midlands Top 200 Report names Lincolnshire transport and logistics business Freshlinc Group as the region’s number one business for profit growth this year.

According to Grant Thornton’s analysis, the Spalding headquartered Freshlinc Group has grown profits faster than any other East Midlands business, rising more than 100-places from its position on last year’s Report, to take the top, number one spot this year, up from 117th position in 2017.

Freshlinc specialises in total supply chain management of temperature controlled fresh, chilled and horticultural products across the UK and Europe. It has five operating divisions including the traditional haulage business DirectLinc, and supply chain resourcing company Top Up Resources.

Taking second place for profit growth is Derbyshire’s G.F. Tomlinson, followed by Derby-based Ark Capital in third position, Lincolnshire’s Branston in fourth, and Leicestershire’s C3 Construction in fifth place.

Of the 200 businesses on the Report, 60 are based in each of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, 44 in Derbyshire, and 36 in Lincolnshire.

Together, they have a combined annual turnover of £15.3 billion, show an average 14% growth in annual turnover, 35% average growth in profit, have an average operating profit of £1.8 million and profit margin of 12%.

Thirty-one companies on the list have grown profits by more than 50%, including two with 100%-plus year-on-year growth since 2014.

The top three sectors represented are Industrial & Manufacturing (23%), Agriculture, Food & Drink (23%), and Business Support Services (21%), with the remainder from Wholesale (13%), Retail & Leisure (10%), Property & Construction (5%) and Transport & Logistics (5%).

Commenting on the East Midlands Top 200 Report 2018, Mark Pashley, Director at Grant Thornton’s East Midlands regional office, said: “The 200 companies making it onto our list this year are a great example of what the East Midlands has to offer, and showcase the strength of our local economy. They show that overall, the East Midlands continues to perform strongly for business growth compared to the rest of the UK.

“Whilst businesses continue to be unsettled by the lack of information around the UK’s future trading relations with the EU and other economies, our data suggests that many East Midlands businesses are getting on and making positive decisions, and looking forward with optimism, all of which bodes well for their future growth and the prosperity of the region.

“More than three-quarters of the Top 200 are mid-sized businesses from a broad range of market sectors and industries that illustrate the region’s impressive economic and market diversity, and without doubt play a significant role in the East Midlands’ overall performance, durability and sustainability.”

He adds: “This year’s Report ranks the region’s businesses on their profit growth from 2014 to 2017, to give us the most insightful snapshot of the health of the East Midlands economy. This year, over a third of the Top 200 also appeared on the 2017 list and includes five* companies that have appeared on the Report five out of its six years since 2013, demonstrating not only their impressive performance but also expertise in achieving sustainable growth in profits.”

The CBI’s Richard Blackmore, Regional Director – East Midlands, comments: “The East Midlands economy continues to be the fastest growing outside of London in the UK and this year’s Top 200 Report reflects this.  The top 10 companies highlight the diversity of the East Midlands with logistics, construction, manufacturing and the financial sector all represented.

“It is now important that businesses in the region are given the opportunity and support to continue investment, innovation and the upskilling of employees and they will be looking for the governments industrial strategy to help deliver this.”

Mark Pashley adds: “Once again, this year’s Report shows the region has a vibrant mix of dynamic companies, supporting the fact the East Midlands is a brilliant place to work, live and do business, factors that were highlighted in Grant Thornton’s recent Vibrant Economy Index. The East Midlands is rich in opportunity, particularly for improving its economic performance in terms of its prosperity from wealth and job creation, and its entrepreneurial skill set will play a significant role in driving future growth for the regional economy.”

The East Midlands Top 200 Report analyses the financial performance of the 200 businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire that have delivered the greatest, sustained profit growth between 2014 and 2017, to provide the region’s only in-depth study into the East Midlands’ fastest growing companies by key sector and performance indicators, and deliver a barometer of overall economic performance.