British Steel hits the Top Track 100 with sales of £1.2 billion

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 5 Jul 2018

BRITISH Steel has made the annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100, set to be published this weekend.

The table ranks the UK's 100 private companies with the biggest sales.

The Scunthorpe steel giant, bought out by Greybull Capital from Tata in June 2016, is a 'new entry' in at 49 with sales of £1.2 billion, generating profit of £62 million. 

Focusing on the March 2017 year end, the work from Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company also lists it as employing 4,978 people, with the majority in Scunthorpe.

It is one of just four in the entire Yorkshire and Humber region.

British Steel’s chief financial officer, Gerald Reichmann, said: “We’re proud to have been named in the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table alongside some extremely prestigious and successful companies.

“This ranking demonstrates how far we’ve come since our launch in 2016 and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this, particularly our employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.”

For Britain's largest geographic region it may look something like a much needed wake-up call for GDP share. However, international operators such as Phillips 66 and Siemens Gamesa are ineligible - and with India's Tata at the helm when the last annualised figures would have been considered, it has just been able to be included.

Read more: Can your business support British Steel? Special event in Scunthorpe to find the right companies

Also, some of the UK-owned listings have major operations bases in the region with headquarters in London, such as Greenergy, the Immingham biofuels refinery (last year's number two), or elsewhere ,such as food specialist 2 Sisters Group (nine in 2017), headquartered in the West Midlands.

In the same trade as JCT, Doncaster-based Stoneacre Motor Group - just finalising a massively expanded Kia dealership in Grimsby - creeps in at 100 with 26 per cent growth through a series of acquisitions led by managing director Shaun Foweather, bringing in sales of £708 million last year, creating a profit of £14 million.

Yorkshire Water came in at 60th, with sales just over the £1 billion mark, and profits of £575 million.

The four companies, compared with three last year, have made a significant contribution to the regional economy. Together, with the likes of Aston Martin, Dyson, JCB and Specsavers, they achieved sales of £4.2 billion and profits of £682 million in their last financial year, and collectively employ more than 13,000 people.

This year, combined, the list reached a record £205 billion in total sales, up an average of 16 per cent on the prior year, with record total profits of £23.5 billion, up by 10 per cent. An impressive 90 companies increased sales in their latest financial year. 

Read more: Logistics hub plan can still take off after Heathrow expansion backed in Westminster

The dominant region for company HQs is London, 32, followed by the southeast, 21, and the Midlands, 16. Of the remainder, 11 companies are based in the North West, six in Scotland, five in the South West, two each in Northern Ireland and the East of England, and one in Wales.

The league table is sponsored by HSBC, Linklaters and PwC.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said: "Once again, Britain’s most ambitious private enterprises have shown their mettle by shrugging off uncertainty to grow at an even faster rate than the year before. The businesses in the Top Track 100 are an inspiration to all, showing just what can be achieved with entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to succeed. The four companies in Yorkshire and Humber are the kinds of firms that provide the backbone of our economy, and we at HSBC UK are thrilled to see them thrive.”

Read more: Going underground! British Steel's Transport for London contract is extended

Companies have to be registered in the UK, unquoted, and not subsidiaries to qualify. They may have their ultimate holding company offshore.

Those with fewer than 100 employees are excluded, as are not-for-profit companies, cooperative societies, member-owned buying groups, mutual societies, provident associations, and partnerships such as lawyers and accountants.

It should come with a slight caveat to strength of the business too, with Greybull-owned airline Monarch, which has since closed down, and fashion brand New Look - which has warned of its financial position - both featured last year. 

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