Business

Four fast-growth Northern Ireland firms feature in Sunday Times profits list

Gordons Chemists features at number 13 in the latest Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table
Gary McDonald Business Editor

FOUR stellar-performing companies from the north, together employing 1,300 staff and with combined profits of £21 million, have secured a listing in the 18th annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table which ranks the UK's private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years.

The highest ranked of the quartet is Banbridge-based Gordons Chemists, which features for the first time on the list at number 13.

The family firm began as a single pharmacy in 1980 and now operates more than 60 outlets across Northern Ireland and Scotland, employing 655 staff.

It also runs Gordons Direct, which sells healthcare products online. Its profits have lifted by an average of 104 per cent a year to £5m in 2016.

At number 30 on the list is Tobermore Concrete, founded 75 years ago as a sand and gravel business and which now manufactures concrete products and supplies to both commercial and residential markets throughout Britain and Ireland.

The second generation family business, which has 198 staff, grew profits by an average of 88 per cent a year to £6m in the year to last April.

Also on the list are artisan food producer Finnebrogue in Downpatrick (number 70, profits growth of 71 per cent to £5m) and Newry-based specialist joinery firm MJM Interior Build (number 89, profits growth of 63 per cent to £5m).

The four Northern Ireland appear with businesses from around the UK, including domestic appliance designer Gtech, bottled drinks manufacturer Radnor Hills and gym operator PureGym.

The companies have achieved a higher average rate of profit growth (83 per cent) than any previous Profit Track 100 league table, which have typically ranged from 50 to 75 per cent a year.

Peter Burnside, managing partner in Northern Ireland at BDO, the title sponsor of the league table, said: “High-growth, mid-sized businesses played a leading role in the UK economic recovery after the global financial crisis.

"With Brexit and more uncertainty looming, it's companies like these, with their natural energy, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, that will help the UK economy thrive.”

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