Midlands’ firms feature prominently in table of Britain’s biggest private companies
Despite talking a major hit to its profits, Birmingham food group, 2 Sisters has once again been named the Midlands’ biggest private company.
The group, led by Ranjit Boparan, has been listed ninth in the latest Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 of Britain’s largest private firms.
The ranking puts its ahead of Staffordshire excavator manufacturer JCB (17th) and property, aviation and technology conglomerate, The Rigby Group (20th) as the region’s next biggest firms.
The highest ranked firm in the East Midlands was Worksop-based retailer Wilco (36th), which is officially the Midlands’ sixth largest business.
Published this weekend, the 16th annual report lists 16 companies across the Midlands (see full list below).
Together, they have made a significant contribution to the regional economy, achieving overall sales of £21.8bn and profits of £1.6bn in their last financial year. Collectively, they employ more than 103,000 people.
The fastest-growing company on the league table in the Midlands is Warwick-based First Utility (68th), which added £286m (51%) in sales to reach a total of £848m, partly as a result of the launch in 2015 of a partnership with Shell in Germany to provide electricity and gas there.
The companies in the Midlands’ firms appear with businesses from around the UK, including high-profile national brands such as Clarks, Dyson, Specsavers and Virgin Atlantic.
List authors said that despite the economic and political uncertainty facing the UK following the decision to leave the EU, almost three quarters of the table (72 companies) increased sales in their last financial year.
The league table is sponsored by HSBC and Linklaters, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company.
Dan Howlett, Head of Corporate Banking at HSBC UK, said: “It’s encouraging to see so many businesses not only thriving in these uncertain times, but achieving a higher growth rate than in 2016.
“These companies embody the very best of UK entrepreneurialism with their determination to grow, succeed and seek out new opportunities. And it’s not just young companies eagerly chasing opportunities, we’re seeing long established companies exercising similar rigour and refusing to become complacent. I look forward to both helping and watching these businesses continue to go from strength to strength.”
The Midlands list in full:
|Location||Rank (2016)||Company||Sales £m||Profits £m||Staff||Year-end||Main Shareholders|
|Birmingham||9 (7)||2 Sisters Food Group||3,130||176||22,664||July 16||Baljinder & Ranjit Boparan (100%)|
|Rocester||17 (14)||JCB||2,343||163||8,875||Dec 15||Bamford family (100%)|
|Stratford-upon-Avon||20 (27)||The Rigby Group||2,170||56||8,500||March 17||Sir Peter Rigby and family (100%)|
|Stoke-on-Trent||30 (26)||bet365||1,653||508||3,404||March 16||Coates family (93%); Will Roseff (7%)|
|Burton-upon-Trent||32 (36)||Healthcare at Home||1,638||11||1,897||Oct 16||Vitruvian Partners (majority); Hutton Collins; management|
|Worksop||36 (34)||Wilko||1,464||57||20,830||Jan 16||Wilkinson family (100%)|
|Willenhall||44 (39)||AF Blakemore & Son (Cash & Carry food distributor)||1,282||18||7,514||April 16||Blakemore family (100%)|
|Stratford-upon-Avon||46 (48)||Listers (Motor Dealers)||1,227||24||2,245||March 17||Bradshaw family (50%); Lister family (50%)|
|Swadlincote||49 (53)||Bloor Investments (Construction & motorcycle manufacture)||1,150||150||3,228||June 16||John Bloor (100%)|
|Shrewsbury||54 (60)||Greenhous Group (Motor Dealers)||1,013||6||1,020||Dec 16||Derek Passant (52%); Kerry Finnon (46%); Mike Pawson (2%)|
|Belper||62 (63)||Bowmer & Kirkland (Construction Contractor)||931||58||1,337||Aug 16||Kirkland family and family trusts|
|Melton Mowbray||64 (61)||Samworth Brothers (Food producer)||910||85||7,927||Dec 15||Samworth family trusts (100%)|
|Warwick||68 (64)||First Utility||848||6||950||Dec 15||Co-founders (45%); investors, inc Royal Dutch Shell (45%); staff share options (10%)|
|Retford||83 (100)||Langley Holdings (Engineering equipment manufacturer)||738||112||4,201||Dec 16||Tony Langley (100%)|
|Birmingham||90 (76)||Farmfoods (Frozen food retailer)||694||28||4,320||Dec 15||Eric Herd & family (100%)|
|Burton-upon-Trent||98 (99)||Doncasters Group (Engineering components manufacturer)||654||101||4,207||Dec 16||Dubai International Capital (98%); management (2%)|