AD

The UK’s fastest growing private companies: The Hot 100 2016

The 2016 edition of the Real Business Hot 100 reveals the UK's fastest growing private companies, highlighting the variety British business has to offer.
AD
(91) PP O’Connor
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1960
  • The boss: Peter O’Connor
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Latest turnover: £21.4
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

PP O’Connor is a demolitions expert based in Manchester, specialising in civil engineering, bulk earthworks, demolition and deconstruction, asbestos removal, remediation, construction, waste management, quarrying, and emergency response. The company can take on full construction projects from conception to completion.

It works across a range of sectors such as energy, commercial offices and retail, infrastructure such as roads and rail projects, education and healthcare, petrochemical, industrial, sport and leisure, regeneration, residential and frameworks and partnerships.

PP O’Connor has an in-house fleet of modern, high-tech plant and machinery and a directly employed team of industry experts.

(92) St. Austell Brewery
  • Sector: Brewing
  • Date founded: 1851
  • The boss: James Staughton
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Latest turnover: £137.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9
  • Latest EBITDA: £7.4m

St Austell Brewery makes more than just beer – it also has a pub estate spanning the West Country, wholesale distribution of wine, spirits and soft drinks and training courses available. It is also the South West of England’s biggest wholesale supplier to the licensed hospitality sector, delivering beers, lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks to nearly 5,000 bars, restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs in the region.

The brewery was founded in 1851 by Walter Hicks, who began as a maltster and wine merchant – the Walter Hicks Wine business continue to contribute to the group’s offering today.

The company is one of Cornwall’s largest employers with a team of around 1,000 full and part time employees. Around 300 work in brewing, distribution and head office functions, and 700 serve customers in St Austrell Brewery’s 25 managed pubs, hotels and inns. The company also operates 145 tenanted pubs and has a local sourcing policy, whereby wherever possible it will work with trades people, food suppliers, colleges and farms from the surrounding area.

(93) Lymn Funeral Services
  • Sector: Funerals
  • Date founded: 1907
  • The boss: Nigel Lymn Rose
  • Location: Nottinghamshire
  • Latest turnover: £12.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.90
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.4m

The Lymn Funeral Service was founded in 1907 and remains wholly owned by the family to this day. It has headquarters in Sneinton in Nottingham, just a few hundred yards from Goosegate where its founders traded as furniture makers at the turn of the 19th century.

The entry into the undertaking business began in 1905 with the manufacture and supply of coffins. This business proved so successful that by 1915 it had to be moved to a larger premises. Initially the business needed a stables for its horses, but they were eventually replaced with garages for motor vehicles – currently, the same site houses a fleet of silver Rolls-Royce hearses and limousines.

Over the years the business began to take shape, and by the early years of the 21st century there were 22 funeral homes serving the whole of Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire, as well as an in-house family-run floristry division.

(94) Rawle Gammon and Baker
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1850
  • The boss: Colin Worth
  • Location: Devon
  • Latest turnover: £54.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.58
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

RGB Building Supplies started out life as a timber importing business, but has since grown in to one of the biggest family-owned builders’ merchants in the South West of England, employing nearly 300 staff.

The company offers building and timber, kitchen and bathrooms, plumbing and heating and eco and renewables services, and offers an extensive product range.

RGB most recently opened a new branch in Wellington. The new branch will be supplying a range of products, including bathrooms and showers, boilers and radiators, pipes and fittings, cylinders and controls and filters and chemicals.

(95) Border Biscuits
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1984
  • The boss: John Cunningham
  • Location: Lanarkshire
  • Latest turnover: £14.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.53
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

In 1984, founder of Border Biscuits, John Cunningham, bought a factory in Lanark to make biscuits. They proved popular and soon the company had move to a larger premises to keep up with demand. The new Lanarkshire factory is still home to the business to this day, although it continues to focus on growth. The factory produces over 300,000 packets of biscuits a week.

In 2015, Border Dark Chocolate Gingers were voted the nation’s favourite. The company has produced more than 20m of them, using 155 tonnes of chocolate. Border is planning to use this to its advantage and boost its presence in 500 Asda stores throughout the UK with the introduction of its new Dark Chocolate Gingers and Orange.

This year, Border Biscuitiers have been working on new recipes, including a new cookies range. To celebrate the range, which includes a white chocolate and strawberry cookie, Borders donated a strawberry patch to Lanark Community Development Trust.

(96) Precision Printing
  • Sector: Printing
  • Date founded: 1965
  • The boss: Gary Peeling
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £16.8
  • CAGR: 8.42
  • Latest EBITDA: £1,330,153

Precision Printing offers a range of digital printing services designed to help its customers stand out from the crowd at industry events with its displays and exhibitions.

The company specialises in the production of large format and digital printing, and its product range includes posters, banners, window decals, point of sale displays, personalised wallpaper, exhibition and display stands, hoardings, stationery, marketing materials, direct mail, specialist books, photo products and boxes.

Precision Printing was established in 1966 and is currently based over two locations – East London, which employs 130 staff, and Sunderland, which employs 26 staff.

(97) The Bath Priory
  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Andrew and Christina Brownsford
  • Location: Avon
  • Latest turnover: £18.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.40
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

The Bath Priory is a Georgian house that has been converted into a hotel, a short distance from Bath city centre, and another hospitality entry in our fastest growing private companies ranking.

Initially built in 1835 as a private residence, the house was converted in 1969 and was the first hotel bought by the Brownsford family in 1994. It offers 33 guest rooms, including 26 bedrooms and seven suites, each decorated with period furniture and contemporary bathrooms.

The Bath Priory holds the city’s only Michelin Star, which serves modern British cuisine with a focus on local produce. The gardens cover three acres and feature a kitchen garden, meadow and lawns. It is tended by Jane Moore, a Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal winner.

(98) Wernick Group
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1934
  • The boss: Andy King
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £96.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.24
  • Latest EBITDA: £19m

The Wernick Group dates back to 1934, and from its humble beginnings as a poultry crates maker has grown into a large independent manufacturer and hirer of portable and modular accommodation.

The last decade has seen vigorous expansion through a combination of acquisitions and the company’s own organic growth.

The group’s product range covers nearly all types of modular buildings and portable accommodation. Its clients come from a variety of sectors, including construction, education, healthcare, commercial and events.

(99) AB Hotels
  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Date founded: 1979
  • The boss: Rafael Bejerano
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £26.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.07
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.5m

AB Hotels is a collection of three family-owned hotels in London and the South East of England. The hotels offer a range of restaurants, spas, professional meeting and event packages and wedding packages.

The hotels include The Arch London, close to Marble Arch. It spans seven Georgian townhouses and two mews homes, decorated in a contemporary style. It also has Sopwell House, a former Georgian country residence of Lord Mountbatten, located in St Albans, Hertfordshire

The group has a strict green policy, and are constantly looking at ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste and source greener products. It currently has some simple initiatives in place – for example, it is committed to planting at least one tree a year at the hotel grounds.

(100) Notcutts Group
  • Sector: Retail
  • Date founded: 1897
  • The boss: Caroline Notcutt
  • Location: Suffolk
  • Latest turnover: £67.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.02
  • Latest EBITDA: 5.4m

Our final fastest growing private companies entry is Notcutts, a family-owned retailer of plants and sheds, outdoor furniture and indoor accessories and other related gardening items.

The Notcutts Group began life as a nursery and has changed a lot over the years. Initially business would come from country estates, but in the decades following the Second World War new houses had smaller and smaller gardens. The nursery adapted, first becoming more mail order orientated and eventually evolving into the retail outlets it owns today. The business recently overhauled its garden centre in Tunbridge Wells.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Share with your network

Follow Real Business:

About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

Real Business