Northamptonshire’s top 100 businesses ‘strong‘

Northamptonshire Ltd : L-R Kevin Gale, Mike Hughes & John Corbishley of Grant Thornton with guest speaker Hussein Lalani of 99p Stores Ltd.
Northamptonshire Ltd : L-R Kevin Gale, Mike Hughes & John Corbishley of Grant Thornton with guest speaker Hussein Lalani of 99p Stores Ltd.

Northamptonshire businesses are “performing strongly” in a challenging climate.

More than 100 business leaders heard the results of Northamptonshire Ltd, an in-depth survey into the performance of the county’s top 100 companies, at a breakfast seminar organised by business and financial advisors Grant Thornton.

Northamptonshire Ltd provides a detailed financial analysis of the county’s 100 largest companies which are both privately owned and managed within Northamptonshire.

The report showed that annual revenue has increased significantly by 11.3 per cent from £5.1bn to £5.7bn.

Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) has risen almost in line from £398m to £438m, representing a 10 per cent increase year on year.

The study was based on the latest company accounts available and highlights how Northamptonshire businesses are recovering well after the economic downturn.

Total debt among the top 100 companies has risen by 7.9 per cent to £1.6bn, while fixed assets have risen by 10.5 per cent, suggesting genuine investment in capacity and facilities.

There is also evidence of an improvement in the efficient use of working capital.

Employment in Northamptonshire Ltd has risen by 6.1 per cent in the period.

The average salary has also risen from £25,937 to £26,214, an increase of 1.1 per cent which is broadly in line with national trends but remains slightly below the national average of £26,871.

Presenting the findings, John Corbishley of Grant Thornton, said: “Despite the challenging trading conditions over the reporting period, Northamptonshire Ltd’s constituent members have withstood the storm very well, whether their markets are local, national or international.

“It would also appear that underlying confidence has not been dampened with little evidence of companies using profitability to reduce debt.

“This suggests that cash is being used to support investment and growth rather than to further de-risk the balance sheet.

“This overview paints a picture of a county that has been resilient in trading throughout the downturn and is headed for recovery.

Businesses in Northamptonshire should continue to benefit from the region’s central location, its pool of skilled employees and the world class reputation in the motorsport field.”

The Northamptonshire Ltd report also analysed a breakdown of the financial data by sector. All sectors grew turnover over the period.

Despite the challenging environment experienced by the sector, property and construction saw the largest growth in turnover with a 31.4 per cent increase year on year.

Other notable growth sectors were business support services which grew 17.2 per cent and technology with a rise of 17.7 per cent.

The lowest growth at 4.5 per cent was seen in automotive and motor retail.

Delegates at the event held at Northampton Saint Rugby Club in Northampton, also heard from guest speaker, Hussein Lalani, MD of 99p Stores Ltd, which has more than 200 outlets across the UK with its head office in Northampton.

Lalani shared his views on how companies can achieve success in a difficult and constantly changing climate, reflecting this year’s event theme of growth.