New Report shows the East Midlands’ economy is in good shape as its top businesses grow profits and employment

Grant Thornton has launched its Top 200 Report 2019, in association with the CBI, HSBC and Macildowie. L-R: Richard Haaker (Macildowie), John Bryant (Grant Thornton), Richard Blackmore (CBI), Liz Fuge (HSBC) and Mark Pashley (Grant Thornton).

The East Midlands’ 200 top performing businesses have grown profits by an average 30 percent, employment by 8.2 percent, and together provide over 68,000 jobs, according to the findings of this year’s East Midlands Top 200 Report produced by the regional office of business and financial advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Launched on 17th September 2019 in association with the CBI, HSBC and Macildowie and now in its seventh year, the Report names new-entrant Derbyshire manufacturer UK Carbon & Graphite Company (UKCG) as the region’s number one business for profit growth, with a 198 percent compound growth since 2015.

Belper headquartered UKCG specialises in the controlled manufacture, machining, testing and global distribution of carbon and graphite products utilised in global industrial sectors including aerospace, foundry and steel.

Lincolnshire’s Ballast Phoenix has a compound growth in profit of 134 percent for the three years under review which earns it second place on the Report, Lincoln Protein takes the number three spot, Leicestershire’s Sheridan & Company is in fourth, and Derbyshire’s Global Brands Group in fifth place.

Of the 200 businesses on the Report, 57 are based in each of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, 50 in Derbyshire and 36 in Lincolnshire.

Together, the top 200 businesses have a combined annual turnover of £18.6 billion, show an average 13 percent growth in annual turnover, 30 percent average growth in profit, have an average operating profit of £2 million and profit margin of 10.9 percent. Employees at the East Midlands’ top 200 businesses have seen an average wage growth of 3.3 percent.

A total of eleven companies have returned to the Top 200 list for the fifth time in seven years, and Newark-based haulage company Walker & Son Ltd is the only company to have appeared on the Report for six out of the last seven years it has been running.

The top three sectors represented are Business Support Services (24 percent), Property and Construction (20 percent) and Industrial and Manufacturing (18 percent), with the remainder from Retail and Leisure (18.5 percent), Agriculture, Food and Drink (8.5 percent), Transport and Logistics (5.5 percent) and Wholesale (5.5 percent).

Commenting on the East Midlands Top 200 Report 2019, Mark Pashley, Director at Grant Thornton’s East Midlands regional office, said: “The 200 businesses making it onto our list this year are a great example of what the East Midlands has to offer.

“The local economy is strong and in great shape to support fast growing businesses, with 91 of the top 200 being new entrants that haven’t appeared on the list in previous years.

“Whilst our Top 200 have grown profits by an average of 30 percent, down slightly from 35 percent reported last year, their turnover growth is 12.7 percent from around £13bn to £18.6bn, and have made a large increase in total employment numbers up to 68,055, reflecting a trend of a number of larger businesses making it into this year’s report. Around three-quarters of the Top 200 continue to be small and medium sized businesses, which are the powerhouses of the East Midlands economy, and are drawn from a very broad range of market sectors and industries, further emphasising the region’s diversity and durability.”

He adds: “The UK has faced continued political uncertainties over the past few years surrounding its potential exit from the European Union and now the election of a new Prime Minister. Our data shows how resilient East Midlands businesses are, as they continue to make positive decisions with cautious optimism, helping to drive the regions’ prosperity.”

Partner at Grant Thornton and corporate finance specialist John Bryant, who is based at the firm’s new Nottingham office, adds: “Our region continues to exhibit a vibrant mix of successful and dynamic businesses that promote the East Midlands as a fantastic place to work, live and do business Our Report shows that the region’s businesses continue to innovate and make optimistic strides forward, supported by a strong local economy. We wish all our Top 200 businesses continued success in the coming financial year.”

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 2015 and 2018, 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.