10 NW companies ranked on Fast Track 100

TEN North West companies, from sectors ranging from pet food to pubs and renewable energy, have been ranked among the 100 fastest-growing companies by sales in the last three years.

The highest placed business on the 16th annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, which will be published this weekend, is Preston-based renewable energy provider Solfex, which has made it onto the league table for the first time.

Solfex, which is ranked 5th overall has seen its sales have surge 179% a year from £717,000 in 2008 to £15.5m in 2011. Panoramic Growth Equity bought a minority stake in the business for £1.3m in October 2011.

Sandbach-based payroll services provider Safeguard World International is another new entry at 23rd, while Warrington’s Secured Mail, which was ranked second last year is at 24th.

Better Bathrooms, based at Glazebury Cheshire is at 33rd and Fideliti a Warrington-based childcare voucger administrator backed by serial entrepreneur Fred Done is 40th.

Stockport-based Cartrideg Save (67th), industrial machinery distributor Blue Group (70th), OneE Tax of Bolton,  Macclesfield pet food manufacturer MPM Products (75th) and Blackpool-based Amber Taverns (89th) complete the list.

The 10 North West companies have combined sales of £243m and employ 450 people, having added 340 jobs in the last three years.

The Fast Track 100 is sponsored by Virgin, Barclays, and RSM Tenon. It is compiled by Fast Track.

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, which has been the title sponsor of the league table for all 16 years, commented:  “The tough economic conditions of the last few years have continued throughout 2012. Despite the positive feelings and boost provided by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the UK’s recovery has been slow and uneven this year.

“Against this backdrop, the Fast Track 100 companies have performed especially well, growing strongly and creating all important jobs.”