Report shows top 100 Northamptonshire companies continue to flourish

Mike Hughes, John Corbishley, Adrian McGlynn, Kevin Gale
Mike Hughes, John Corbishley, Adrian McGlynn, Kevin Gale

A new report shows that, for the second consecutive year, Northamptonshire’s 100 largest privately owned businesses are continuing to grow both turnover and profit by more than 10 per cent.

Launched in 2013, the Northamptonshire Ltd study is conducted annually by financial and business advisers Grant Thornton to provide an in-depth financial analysis of the performance of the 100 largest companies which are both privately owned and managed within Northamptonshire. The study was based on the latest company accounts available up to April 2014.

Kevin Gale, practice leader for Grant Thornton, said: “The results last year showed a good performance by the Top 100 companies but to repeat the same level of growth for a second year is extremely impressive and highlights the continued pace at which the county is growing.

“The companies included in the study has evolved with 17 new entrants this year. This is due to an element of M&A activity which, in some cases, has propelled businesses into the top 100 listing but there has also been good organic growth.”

The findings, unveiled to more than 100 Northamptonshire business leaders and professionals at a breakfast event hosted by Grant Thornton, showed that combined turnover of the 100 companies increased by a healthy 10 per cent from £5.37bn to £5.9bn, well in excess of overall GDP growth.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also grew by a similar amount to £461 million while employment amongst the 100 companies grew by 4.6 per cent to 35,277 people.

The report also indicates that business borrowing is rising and interest payable rose significantly by 21.6 per cent from £88 million to £104 million suggesting an increased access to debt and finance.

Presenting the findings, John Corbishley, director at Grant Thornton’s Northampton office, said: “This year’s Northamptonshire Limited results show that the positive trend has continued with some really impressive, stand-out results. The continuing growth of Northamptonshire’s largest 100 businesses highlights a robust, well-managed group of privately-owned businesses that are leading the way for the county.”

The companies represented within Northamptonshire Ltd include 21 ‘large’ companies (turnover greater than £50m and more than 250 employees) and 79 SMEs with analysis of these two groups highlighting some interesting findings.

The 21 large companies account for 75 per cent of Northamptonshire Ltd’s turnover and their turnover growth is nearly 50 per cent higher than in SME’s. The difference in EBITDA is even more exaggerated as SME profitability has fallen slightly despite a seven per cent top line increase.