21 northern firms included in British business elite list

Featured in the Elite list is Thompson Aero Seating - pictured here are its chief executive Gary Montgomery and First Minister Arlene Foster
Gary McDonald Business Editor

MORE than 20 high-worth firms in the north feature in the landmark report which identifies fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across the UK.

They have been named in the London Stock Exchange’s '1000 Companies to Inspire Britain' report, pinpointing firms which collectively are growing at an average annual rate of 25 per cent.

The Northern Ireland list includes high profile companies like CDE Global in Cookstown, where revenues rose by 25 per cent from £30 million to £40m last year, and Thompson Aero Seating, engineers and manufacturers of cutting edge airline seats.

Also among them are Genesis Crafty, the bakery run by six brothers making Genesis Crafty goods as well as own-label ranges for major names such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose and Brakes, and innovative mushroom marketing company UniMush.

The list includes Co Down wholesalers Savage and Whitten, where revenues soared to £75 million, catering giants Mount Charles Group and Modern Tyres, which has retail outlets in every county in the north.

Making up the Northern Ireland elite are First Choice Selection Services Ltd, Morgan Transport & Distribution, FP Mccann, Ballygarvey Eggs, Bi Electrical Services, Decora Blind Systems, New World Developments, Novosco, the Strategic Investment Board, North Down Grain, Mackle Petfoods, Sawyers Transport, Tes (NI) Ltd and JMW Farms.

The 'Inspire' report reveals that 78 of the fast-growing companies are headquartered outside London, and they are growing at an average of 50 per cent a year.

Almost 25 per cent of the companies are from the construction, engineering and manufacturing sectors, demonstrating those industries’ ability to adapt and succeed despite challenging headwinds.

Sector diversity continues to be strong, with food & drink, IT and retail well represented.

Real Estate is one of the fastest growing sectors with an average annual growth rate of 123 per cent while financial services firms also continue to grow rapidly, at an average annual revenue growth rate of 82 per cent.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group said: “High growth SMEs are the driving force behind the UK economy, developing the skills, jobs and growth we need.

"But ambition alone is not enough; their success must be highlighted and their growth properly supported with appropriate finance. This elite list demonstrates the strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies to support these inspiring businesses.”

Writing in the publication, Chancellor George Osborne says: “UK high-growth businesses are leading the charge in rebuilding our economy. These companies are the backbone of the British economy. They create high-quality, well paid jobs, innovate and drive economic growth. This government fully understands the need to support ambitious entrepreneurs and ensure they can access the finance they need to grow.

“We have held the steadfast belief that –alongside deficit reduction – nurturing entrepreneurs, creating jobs, supporting hard-working families and keeping taxes low would get the UK economy back on track. Our measures to increase access to finance for business and encourage more investment have had a transformative effect on our economy.”


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