Big businesses give the economy £400m boost

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Jun 2018

THE biggest businesses in the Humber are continuing to drive the economy forward as they enjoyed a big rise in sales and profit last year. 

Companies including Drax Group, Croda, Cranswick and Smith & Nephew have contributed to the region seeing a £400m increase in earnings before factors, such as interest and tax, are added.

A trio of Humber-based businesses featured in the top ten businesses across Yorkshire for the highest increase in turnover, as regional leaders also performed well overseas.

The news comes as accountants BDO released its Yorkshire Report, which gives an overview on the performance of the county’s biggest businesses.

Mark Langford, partner at BDO, said: “Hull and the Humber is home to many world-class businesses operating across a wide range of sectors and are especially strong in manufacturing. 

“They are responsible for the lion’s share of the growth in international sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

“Five companies in the region increased exports by more than £20m each in 12 months."

Read more: Drax takes next step in coal-free ambitions

Drax Group topped the list for the highest increase in turnover in the last year, with Cranswick plc coming in 6th place, and Croda in 8th across all of Yorkshire.

Drax also saw the best increase in profits after tax, as Hull City also performed well off the pitch.

The 32 corporate companies headquartered in and around the Humber saw a £400m, equal to 50 per cent, increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Mr Langford said: “The weak pound has also helped companies in Hull and the Humber to become more competitive abroad. It has supported those corporates with overseas operations when they exchange foreign currencies.”

Read more: Croda enlists Hull engineering company to complete £27m investment

Manufacturing was the standout sector last year, according to the report, and particularly so in Hull and the Humber where factories delivered strong growth in revenues, exports and profits.  

The leisure sector also enjoyed growth, boosted in a large part by Hull City AFC’s year in the Premier League. 

Mr Langford said: “The Yorkshire Report 2018 shows the enduring strength and importance of the region’s mid-market in driving wealth and prosperity.

“They are creating value for shareholders and employing more than 150,000 people across Yorkshire and beyond.”

The report also revealed the top 250 companies in Yorkshire, and a whole host of Humber businesses made the list.

High flyers include Drax Group (3rd), Croda (9th), Fenner (21st), J.R. Rix & Sons (48th) and William Jackson & Son Ltd (54th).

Read more: Cranswick announces major turnover rise after record £59m investment

The Yorkshire Report is BDO’s longest-running publication and is a sign of its steadfast commitment to the region. 

This year, the business and accountancy firm is launching a website for the report, which gives users the opportunity to filter data to gain benchmarking insights into Yorkshire. To read the report, visit

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