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03 October 2016

Forty-Seven Companies in the Southeast Feature in League Table Of Britain’s Leading Private Mid-Market Growth Companies

Published this weekend, the 12th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table ranks Britain's private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales.

The 47 companies headquartered in the southeast (compared to 44 last year) have made a strong contribution to the regional economy. The companies increased combined sales 15% to £10.6bn and operating profits 35% to £856m, and they employ more than 50,000 people.

The biggest mid-market growth company in the region is Morrison Utility Services, based in Stevenage, which repairs, replaces and maintains infrastructure for clients including Thames Water, National Grid and BT. It grew sales 5% to £614m in 2016 and profits 14% to £19m, and employs almost 3,900 people.

There are 29 entrants in the southeast that were not on the league table last year, including Dreams, the bed retailer based in High Wycombe; McLaren Automotive, the Woking-based sports car maker; and Guildford's TGI Friday, which has 66 cocktail and burger bar outlets nationwide, and whose sales rose 11% to £194m.

The companies in the southeast appear with businesses from around the UK, including Arsenal, Barbour, Dr Martens, Nando's, Skyscanner and Wagamama.

The league table and awards programme is sponsored by Grant Thornton, and compiled for the 12th year by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company.

Norman Armstrong, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, the title sponsor of the league table, praised the companies for their performance:

"In the wake of the EU referendum it is more important than ever that businesses, and the public and the third sectors work together to help the UK to build on its strengths and ensure that the economy continues to grow. I am heartened to see how these businesses are embracing a collaborative approach to drive prosperity throughout the UK and wider society."

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The national picture

The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 complements the Top Track 100, published in July, which features Britain's biggest private companies. It ranks the next 250-biggest companies by sales, provided they meet our growth and profitability criteria (see below). The 250 companies grew combined sales by 14% to £58.1bn, operating profits by 26% to £4.9bn, and staff by 11% to 354,000.

There are 146 companies that were not on the league table in 2015, 50 of which have appeared on the league table previously, while the remaining 96 make their debuts this year.

The 250 companies are headquartered across the country. London is home to 62 companies and the southeast 47. The Midlands boast 33, Yorkshire and the northeast 31. Scotland has 29, the northwest 24, the southwest 16, the East 3, Wales 1 and Northern Ireland 4.

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