Sales rise above £8bn at north's 'Next 200' companies

Co Fermanagh firm, Ready Egg Products recorded one of the largest increases in turnover in the Next 200 list

THE north's top SMEs reported an almost nine per cent increase in sales last year, according to new figures.

Ulster Business' Next 200, which shines a light on the companies outside the Top 100 Northern Ireland list, has revealed a surge in turnover across local businesses, amounting to combined total revenue of £8.3 billion.

This represents a jump of 8.5 per cent on the previous year at the 200 small and medium-sized businesses, which provide employment for more than 26,000 people.

The latest rankings show that energy supplier Ge Grid Solutions (UK) Ltd topped the list, reporting £72.9m turnover, followed by World Travel Centre Ltd (£72.6m) and Sangers (Northern Ireland) Ltd (£72.3m). Creagh Concrete (£71.2m) and Haldane Fisher (£70.7m) rounded off the top five.

Some of the largest increases in turnover included Fermanagh firm Ready Egg Products, rising from £42.5m to £64.4m, based on company accounts.

Meanwhile, recycling business RiverRidge saw revenue rise from £34.5m to £49.9m.

John Lavery of Grant Thornton, who helped analyse and compile the list, hailed the performance Next 200 companies, who he described as the "life blood of the Northern Ireland economy".

“This performance is all the more impressive when we think of the Northern Ireland economy as a whole, where aggregate turnover across all companies declined. With the pace of growth from some of the companies within the Next 200, it will not be long before they are knocking on the door of the Ulster Business Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list," he said.

Ulster Business editor, John Mulgrew added:

“The full table shows the majority of businesses have witnessed a rise in turnover, while profits after tax across the 200 were close to £500m.

“Nine out of 10 companies reported a profit, with the average margin at 6 per cent of turnover.”

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