Lincolnshire’s Chris Eley is the East Midlands’ fastest growing business

Lincolnshire’s Chris Eley Produce Limited is the East Midlands’ fastest growing business according to a region-wide report unveiled today (6th May 2016) by business and financial advisers Grant Thornton, in partnership with the CBI.Caption: (L-R): Carolyn Fairbairn (CBI Director-General), Mark Berrisford,-Smith (Head of Economics HSBC) and Phil Sayers (Partner, Grant Thornton).

Lincolnshire’s Chris Eley Produce Limited is the East Midlands’ fastest growing business according to a region-wide report unveiled today (6th May 2016) by business and financial advisers Grant Thornton, in partnership with the CBI.

Spalding-based Chris Eley specialises in growing, preparing and distributing vegetables, fruit and horticultural produce, and has taken the number one place for profit growth this year on the annual East Midlands Top 200 Report.

The company is joined in the Top 10 by Lincolnshire firm The Coaching Inn Group and both are part of the county’s highest ever total number of 30 firms that have made the Top 200 Report in its four year history.

Also featured on the Report are Lincolnshire companies Branston Holdings, Broadgate Builders and European Support Services. The Report identifies the county’s top sectors as Agriculture, Wholesale, Property & Construction, Services, and Manufacturing, whilst revealing that employment in Lincolnshire businesses on the Report has grown 43% in the last three years.

The annual East Midlands Top 200 Report is produced by Grant Thornton’s East Midlands’ regional office in partnership with the CBI. It highlights the 200 fastest growing companies run and managed from the East Midlands on the basis of profit growth, to deliver a unique snapshot of the health of the region’s economy.

According to the 2016 Report’s findings, the East Midlands’ 200 best performing businesses have grown profits by an average of 31.6% per year, and collectively, have an operating profit of £736 million, employ 63,045 people, and turnover a total of £12.8 billion – a growth of 58.3% in the last three years. Based on the ‘typical company’ in the Top 200, this equates to an annual compound growth of approximately 12% per year.

This growth in profitability has enabled the East Midlands’ Top 200 companies to generate nearly 17,000 net new jobs over the period of the report, an increase of 36% over the three years, simultaneously increasing average wages and productivity at a higher rate than the national average.

Manufacturing and services continue to be the two fastest growing sectors in the region, according to the report’s analysis, and represent 48% of the companies on the 2016 report. However, this is down on the report’s findings in 2015, with other sectors, notably property & construction, grabbing a greater slice of the fastest growth.

78% of the East Midlands’ disclosed exports are from the manufacturing sector.

Nottinghamshire has the most companies on the East Midlands Top 200, with 57 of the 200 fastest profit growth companies, including five in the top 10, and has the largest concentration of companies returning to the list for the second consecutive year.

Leicestershire has 41 of the region’s Top 200 companies, whilst Derbyshire, with 39 companies on the report, is the region’s third most profitable county, with Northamptonshire in fourth place with a total of 33 businesses on the list.

Commenting on the East Midlands Top 200 Report 2016, Grant Thornton’s Phil Sayers, Partner in the firm’s Leicester office, said:

The 200 companies who have made it onto our list this year have excelled in beating the competition in one of the highest growth parts of one of the fastest growing developed economies in the world. These companies truly showcase the strength of the local economy and are a great snapshot of what the East Midlands has to offer.

The research and analysis behind the Top 200 Report reinforces that the East Midlands is a great place to do business. For the hundreds of great companies based in the region, including those on the list this year, the benefits of operating in the region are obvious. They each benefit from the East Midlands’ great transport links, large pool of talented and educated workers, many vibrant businesses with which to trade, and a unique mix of available resources and relatively low costs.

The variety of businesses, both in terms of sectors and size, brings vibrancy to the East Midlands and, when coupled with the many high quality business locations across the region, provides a recipe for even greater future growth.

CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, said:

Scale-up firms are the unsung heroes of the UK economy – creating jobs, increasing investment and driving exports internationally.

With seven out of ten of these companies located outside London, supporting entrepreneurial and innovative firms to grow can really help drive prosperity across the UK, as shown here in the East Midlands.

There’s more we can do to back entrepreneurs and support the true potential of scale-ups. This is why the CBI is calling for more support for quality skills training and entrepreneurs’ relief extended to long-term investors.

The full findings and all 200 businesses making the 2016 East Midlands Top 200 Report were unveiled at an event at the Radisson Blu East Midlands, Derby, sponsored by HSBC.

Key regional findings of the East Midlands Top 200 Report:

  • Average profit growth of 32%
  • The number one East Midlands company for profit growth is Lincolnshire’s Chris Eley Produce Limited
  • The top 5 sectors by average compound profit growth are:
    o Agriculture
    o Suppliers/Distributors
    o Transport
    o Property & Construction
    o Retail.
  • Average turnover growth of the Top 200 companies is 12% per annum
  • Location by county of the Top 200 companies:
    o 57 – Nottinghamshire
    o 41 – Leicestershire
    o 39 – Derbyshire
    o 33 – Northamptonshire
    o 30 – Lincolnshire
  • Manufacturing is the largest individual sector, with 51 companies in the Top 200
  • 78% of disclosed exports are from the manufacturing sector
  • The East Midlands’ Top 200 companies together employ 63,045 – with the manufacturing sector employing 18,729, wholesale 15,775, and services 10,381
  • 30 companies have average annual compound growth of more than 50%, 3 with 100%+ growth pa
  • Turnover of services companies ranges from £3m to £111m.

The East Midlands Top 200 report is the region’s only dynamic, in depth study of the growth, performance and percentage rise in the profitability of businesses that are managed and run from the East Midlands, from a regional perspective and by individual market sector and county. It ranks businesses by the percentage growth in profitability, so highlights both established and up-and-coming businesses, and provides insights into the East Midlands’ fastest growing companies by key sector and performance indicators, providing a barometer of economic performance.

Grant Thornton has its East Midlands office in Leicester, where it has approximately 160 staff providing business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.

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