Which firms have made this year’s Top Track?

Fred Done of Betfred

Not one North West company has make the top 10 of the Sunday Times’ annual ranking of the top 250 mid-market growth companies in the country.

The region’s first showing in the list is by Warrington-based Betfred, at number 15, which operates nearly 1,400 betting shops and an online gaming service.

Its sales grew 10% to reach £579m in 2016 and profits grew more than 5 times to £40m aided by the acquisition of 322 stores. It employs more than 6,100 people.

Published this weekend, the 13th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales.

The 21 companies headquartered in the North West, down on 24 last year and 30 the year before that, increased combined sales 17% to £4.8bn and operating profits 43% to £527m, and they employ more than 25,200 people.

There are ten entrants in the North West that were not on the league table last year, including Footasylum, the Rochdale-based footwear and fashion retailer; and housebuilder Story Homes, headquartered in Carlisle, which completed more than 800 new homes in 2017 – an increase of 42% on the previous year – helping sales rise 51% to £174m.

Cheadle-based specialist property lender Together achieved the biggest profits in the region for a second consecutive year with £104m.

The companies in the northwest appear with businesses from around the UK, including Aston Martin, Holland & Barrett, Travelodge, Lush and PureGym.

Previous Top Track 250 success stories include B&M which first featured in 2009 with sales of £256m. The value retailer floated in June 2014 with a market capitalisation of £2.7bn, and is currently valued at £3.85bn.

Carl Williams, Partner at Grant Thornton, the title sponsor of the league table, said: “The UK may be at a pivotal point in its history, but the Top Track 250 clearly demonstrates what can be achieved by exciting dynamic businesses. These companies think locally and act globally, they innovate to grow and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit that this country needs to secure a positive post-Brexit future.”