As we all know the ongoing Brexit discussions and the recent General Election have caused a degree of uncertainty for businesses. However, no business has a crystal ball to predict the future at any time so, for many, it is business as usual and they continue reporting positive growth.
When I attended Grant Thornton’s East Midlands Top 200 launch event at the National Space Centre last week, I was pleased to hear that Leicestershire businesses are leading the way for driving growth.
The East Midlands Top 200 list is compiled using the most recent publicly available accounts of companies that are run and managed from the East Midlands, highlighting the regions 200 fastest growing companies on the basis of profit growth.
The 57 Leicester and Leicestershire businesses in the Top 200 have more than doubled their average profits each year since 2014, have a combined average adjusted profit growth rate of 27.6%, and have grown employment by 48%, providing well over 66,000 jobs (including approximately 51,000 at Next plc).
The top 5 companies in Leicestershire are F.Sherwood & Sons, Morningside Pharmaceuticals (the CEO Dr Nik Kotecha is a new LLEP board member), Davidsons/ Go Plant, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Central Construction Services.
It’s also interesting to point out that Leicestershire significantly had the highest amount of Turnover (£6,106m), Operating profit (£1,048m), number of employees (66,673) and fixed assets (£1,205m) in comparison to the rest of the East Midlands. Leicestershire truly has an impressive economy and the report is testament to the vibrancy of the business community and the strong growth the region continues to demonstrate.
During the Top 200 launch event, I took part in a panel which included a very interesting discussion about business growth. The audience were asked how they viewed current business conditions in comparison to twelve months ago and it was interesting to see 65% of the room voted for ‘a little more difficult’.
When asked about what will drive growth in business in the next 12 months, the audience had split answers with 29% voting for ‘opening up new markets for existing products/ services’, 29% voting for ‘hiring new people’, with 24% opting for ’new product/ service development’.
As mentioned earlier, this is a period of uncertainty for businesses which might be one the reasons why the past year has been a little bit more difficult for some. However, difficulty does not stop businesses driving for growth and as the report suggests, the economy in Leicestershire and the rest of the East Midlands is staying strong.
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