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.
(61) Oakland International
  • Sector: Logistics
  • Date founded: 1998
  • The boss: Dean Attwell
  • Location: Hereford and Worcester
  • Latest turnover: £17.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 14.11
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

Oakland International is an ambient, chilled and frozen food storage, food distribution/transport and contract packing service provider. It was established in 1998 and has depots in Redditch, UK and Ashbourne, Ireland.

The company offers a shared user pallet scheme for chilled products, which provides cost advantages for customers seeking distribution into SPAR, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, P&H, and Nisa, among others.

Oakland founded the Oakland Foundation in 2012 after statistics showed that three wards in Redditch were on a list of the ten most deprived wards in Worcestershire. A further two wards just missed being on the list, and all five have more than 20 per cent of children living in poverty. The Foundation focuses on activities based in education, sport, health and nutrition.

(62) JBA Group
  • Sector: Business services
  • Date founded: 2007
  • The boss: Jeremy Benn
  • Location: North Yorkshire
  • Latest turnover: £23.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 13.93
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.3m

JBA is an environment, engineering and risk group. The company was founded in 1995 as a specialist engineering and environment consultancy with an interest in flood risk management and the environment as a whole. Now the group employs more than 459 people and directly or indirectly supports 1,000 people. It operates from 22 offices in the UK, Isle of Man, Ireland, Germany and Cambodia.

JBA has a green ethos, and is always looking to conserve energy; it avoids the use of paper, public transport or car sharing is encouraged, and it prefers video-conferencing to traveling to meetings. In 2007, the group planted a wood of mixed native broadleaf trees to offset its carbon footprint at a site called Catgill Wood.

Looking to the future the group is intending to continue to diversify into allied areas of development and new markets.

(63) Wozair
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1995
  • The boss: Hazel Collins, Paul and Sheila Azzopardi
  • Location: Kent
  • Latest turnover: £39.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 13.57
  • Latest EBITDA: £3m

Wozair is a manufacturer of non-domestic cooling and ventilation equipment. The company also provides system equipment and design, installation, project management, commissioning, manufacturing and maintenance services.

Due to demand, the business recently expanded its operations and relocated to a new UK headquarters at Gillingham Business Park. The new 83,000 sq ft premises features manufacturing and office space, and underwent extensive renovation to provide all the necessary facilities.

Earlier this year, Wozair acquired Jet Environmental Systems, a provider of ventilation systems for large warehouses that require some temperature control for storage of commodities such as pharmaceutical products. Wozair hopes that the business will provide diversification, and expansion into Europe is planned for the future.

(64) Plumbcity
  • Sector: Plumbing
  • Date founded: 2002
  • The boss: Steve Wimbledon
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £26m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 13.56
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.6m

Plumbcity is an independent plumbers based in East Anglia, with 15 branches across the region. It was established in 2002, and as an independent retailer it is able to tailor its stock profile to the changing needs of its clients.

The business has a range of bathrooms available and on display in its showrooms, and also stocks a range of radiators, towel rails, and underfloor heating options. It prides itself on offering the latest developments in renewable technology and all the major boiler brands.

In addition, the business offers training room resources at its facility at its Colchester headquarters. Its trade customers can attend certified courses on installation knowledge and product awareness.

(65) New England Seafood
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1991
  • The boss: Dan Aherne
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £90.1m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 13.34
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

New England Seafood is a supplier of fresh and frozen sustainable fish and seafood in the UK, and one of the largest importers of fresh tuna. The brand started life in 1991 when Fred Stroyan built it from scratch off the back of his previous experience in the industry, having worked in seafood since the age of 17.

New England Seafood’s customers include Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as smaller retail outlets, restaurant chains, food service markets and wholesale sectors nationwide.

The business sources more than 30 species of wild and farmed fish and seafood from over 40 countries worldwide. It has a passion for responsible sourcing and places respect for the environment and natural resources as top priorities.

(66) John Mackle (Moy)
  • Sector: Pet food
  • Date founded: 1971
  • The boss: John Mackle
  • Location: County Tyrone
  • Latest turnover: £24.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 13.18
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.4m

John Mackle Moy is a manufacturer of pet foods trading under the name Mackle Petfoods.

The business was founded in 1972 in County Armagh, and today it is Ireland’s fastest-growing pet food manufacturer. It consists of one production facility and one packing facility and produces a broad range of wet cat and dog foods in cans and plastic trays. The production facility in Moy has two dedicated manufacturing units – one for canning and one for plastic trays.

The purpose built plastic tray facility was opened in 2012, and the company has further plans in store for the future to increase capacity by adding an additional canning line. Its packaging facility opened in 2014 from its second site at Moygashel, operating a multi-flavour packing line with a shrink wrapper and robotic depalletiser.

Branded and own label products are supplied to wholesale, retail, discounter and pet specialist markets in a variety of packs and multi-packs.

(67) Derbyshire Aggregates
  • Sector: Aggregates
  • Date founded: 1984
  • The boss: Adrian Fewings
  • Location: Derbyshire
  • Latest turnover: £17.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 12.97
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.3m

Derbyshire Aggregates is a landscaping and decorative aggregates specialist. Established in 1984, the business initially focused on volumes to locally based merchants, but due to its significant growth it now exports all over the world. For example, it exports 36 varieties of stone chipping to Japan for the benefit of the cacti growing industry and landscape market.

The business contributes to a vast array of project types such as landscaping, decorative surface dressing for resin bound applications, pebble dashing and flooring in addition to its range of specialist aggregates. Minerals are sourced worldwide and processed at a custom plant in Arbor Low, which can wash, dry, screen, crush and bag a variety of sizes.

The business has partnerships in place around the world to ensure it can meet demand. For example, it ships in boatloads of white dolomite from Spain every month, and imports calcined and classic flint from Denmark and France.

(68) Blue Chip
  • Sector: IT support
  • Date founded: 1987
  • The boss: Brian Meredith
  • Location: Bedfordshire
  • Latest turnover: £42.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 12.94
  • Latest EBITDA: £7.8m

Blue Chip was established back in 1987 to specialise in the support of IBM mid-range systems and has grown organically to become the largest independent IBM support group in the UK.

The company’s portfolio of services mainly focuses around the IBM i and AIX servers, and has a policy to remain dedicated to this niche market. It provides IT solutions to over 850 clients.

Although the company was originally formed to provide IBM hardware maintenance, the firm expanded in 2005 and now offers old and new managed cloud and hosting services from its freehold tier four data centres. It has invested heavily into technology to make its data centres greener, and a cooling system, 120mm floor voids and cold aisle containment all contribute to improve its power usage efficiency.

(69) Gainford Care Homes
  • Sector: Care
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Susan Macalear
  • Location: Durham
  • Latest turnover: £22.5M
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 12.56
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

Gainford Care Homes provides care in the North and North East of the UK. All residents are provided with their own private bedroom with ensuite facilities and specialised beds. All the homes also have communal areas to allow the residents to socialise, such as lounges, dining areas, libraries and landscaped gardens. Some of the homes also offer sensory lighting rooms, WiFi and hairdressing salons.

Gainford offers a range of care services to meet the requirements of those of all ages and abilities. The specialist homes are suitable for both young and elderly guests, as well as those living with physical or learning disabilities, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. All the homes have a nursing team and residential staff on hand 24 hours a day.

Currently, the business operates 13 care homes, and is planning to further expand its offering and develop its sites and services.

(70) Synertec
  • Sector: Business services
  • Date founded: 1999
  • The boss: Mark Baldock
  • Location: Somerset
  • Latest turnover: £24.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 12.54
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

Synertec is a specialist in cost reduction around the production and distribution of documents. The company achieves 40 per cent year-on-year compound growth and positions itself as a fast-moving company at the technical edge of document management.

The company has a nationwide presence, and its technical engineers are able to reach any part of the country within a matter of hours. Its head office is based in Wellington, Somerset.

Its solutions include PRISM, which is an adaptable toolset for the development of high performance document management and scanning solutions, which can open the door to Synertec’s Pay As You Mail (PAYM) facility. Instead of printing documents locally, PRISM can direct the print file to its mailing facility for printing, enclosing and mailing.

Synertec also offers folding and inserting machines for customers processing statements, invoices, cheques, remittance advice, letters, mailshots or any other stand insertion documents.

Synertec has a dedicated team of engineers and customer support staff to help customers resolve any technical issues that may arise in a timely manner.

Keep reading to find which other companies made our Hot 100 2016 ranking of the fastest growing private companies.

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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.

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