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.
(81) Oadby Plastics
  • Sector: Mechanical engineering
  • Date founded: 1969
  • The boss: Neil Driver
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £29.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.99
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

Oadby Plastics is a supplier of semi-finished plastics materials and conveyor components. Earlier this year, the company’s head office moved to its new 160,000 sq ft purpose-built facility in Leicester.

Its Swindon branch covers the South West of England and commenced trading in July 2012. In that time it has seen steady growth and, with efficient delivery from the Leicester head office, it has been able to access the largest plastic stockholding in the country. This has enabled next day delivery from over 2,000 tonnes of stock via its own transport system.

The new site gives the branch further scope to expand its range of products and services to its customers. It is hoped that the new premises will add value to the business and assist internal processes to meet the high standards needed to serve a developing market.

(82) Randox
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Date founded: 1982
  • The boss: Peter FitzGerald
  • Location: County Antrim
  • Latest turnover: £96m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.95
  • Latest EBITDA: £13.1m

Randox is healthcare diagnostics space, and claims that more than five per cent of the world’s population receives medical diagnosis using its products every year. It is the largest diagnostic company from the UK and exports over 95 per cent of products worldwide for use in hospitals, clinics, research, molecular laboratories, food testing, forensic toxicology, life sciences and veterinary laboratories.

The company has patented its Biochip Array Technology which allows multiple tests to be carried out from a single patient sample at its Randox Health Clinics. It has health clinics in London and Belfast, and there are plans to roll out a number of new clinics over the next year.

Randox has more than 1,400 employees, including 300 research scientists and engineers, with offices and distribution in more than 145 countries. Its four key manufacturing and research and development sites are located in Northern Ireland, Ireland, India and the USA.

(83) FAiST
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1986
  • The boss: Richard Nava
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £220.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.90
  • Latest EBITDA: £13.4m

FAiST is a manufacturer of electro-mechanical systems and components, ranging from custom tooling design and materials sourcing, to product assembly, finishing and logistics.

It’s core business operations include the manufacture of industrial-grade components, such as all-weather enclosures, chassis and cabinetry, light metal components such as heatsinks, industrial and military-grade chassis and housings and consumer products such as garden and handy tools.

FAiST operates globally through a network of 26 facilities across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. It has sales offices in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, China and North America, and employs in excess of 3,000 people. Despite being scattered around the globe, the facilities are linked by a tight communication network which aims to provide a high level of collaboration between them.

(84) Luce Bay Plant Hire
  • Sector: Plant hire
  • Date founded: 1972
  • The boss: Adam McIntosh
  • Location: Wigtownshire
  • Latest turnover: £11.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.85
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

The Luce Bay Group, based in Dumfries and Glasgow, is a plant, aggregates and civil engineering company. It caters to construction and utilities projects both large and small, while maintaining plant hire as its core business.

The company offers a range of heavy plant machinery, including tracked and wheeled excavators, dumptrucks, bulldozers, loading shovels, stone crushers and road sweepers. It also hires out a range of small plant machinery, from disc cutters, bowsers and generators, to tele-handlers, rollers and dumpers.

The company has a distinctive orange colour scheme, which can be seen on most of its vehicles. It was initially formed to carry out land drainage work on farms across Wigtownshire, and evolved into a plant hire firm. Its portfolio of services rapidly grew from there to include site clearance and construction in the 1980s, followed by quarrying, engineering and the construction of steel-framed buildings, mostly in the farming sector.

Currently, the firm employs 100 people from joiners, mechanics and welders to plant operators, construction works and administrative staff.

(85) H. W. Coates
  • Sector: Logistics
  • Date founded: 1973
  • The boss: Gerald Coates
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £45.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.81
  • Latest EBITDA: £5m

H. W. Coates is a provider of warehousing and transport services for packaged chemicals. The business has a leading role in the Hazchem Network, the UK’s only pallet network for chemicals, which sees 1,000 pallets moved every night.

The company operates a 2,600 sq ft purpose-built chemicals warehouse at its Newmarket Depot. It has more Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH) sites than any other company, offering features such as temperature control, 24-hour manned security, in-rack sprinklers, decanting and specialist stores.

H. W. Coates is a prime mover behind the Hazchem Emergency Response Scheme, which provides a single response system backed by the National Chemical Emergency Centre. The company is also conscious of its impact on the environment, and recently planted 5,000 trees at its Aylesbury site – it hopes that this will soak up enough CO2 for about 100,000 deliveries.

(86) Kalsi Plastics
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Sohan and Harbans Kalsi
  • Location: West Midlands
  • Latest turnover: £31.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.56
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.8m

Kalsi Plastics is a manufacturer of plastic building products, such as rainwater systems, above ground systems and underground systems. Products are available from a network of stockists across the UK and Ireland.

The company was established in the early 1990s with a manufacturing facility in Birmingham, and it then diversified into related plastic building products – this now accounts for around 60 per cent of the group’s sales.

In 2013 the company opened a £3m manufacturing and extrusion plant to further serve the needs of its expanding customer base.

(87) John Parker and Son
  • Sector: Steel trading
  • Date founded: 1904
  • The boss: Guy Parker
  • Location: Kent
  • Latest turnover: £98.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.56
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

John Parker and Son delivers steel products and processing services throughout the South of England. It has been trading in the engineering and steel industries for over 100 years and had seen significant growth and development in recent times.

The company is a family run operation, and Guy, the great-grandson of the founder John Parker, is the managing director to this day.

John Parker and Son now employs around 450 people, has a 650,000 sq ft warehousing facility, 60,000 tonnes of steel stock, 50 steel processing machines and a range of fixings, fastenings and tooling.

(88) Castell Howell Foods
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1973
  • The boss: Brian Jones
  • Location: Dyfed
  • Latest turnover: £94.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.30
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

Castell Howell is a food wholesaler, offering a range of its own brands such as Celtic Pride Beef and Pork, Farm Fresh and Caffe Eto Coffee. Under these brands, the company can supply cooked meats, sandwich fillings, pies, cakes coffee and coffee machines. In addition, the company is the exclusive wholesale distributor of Mario’s Ice Cream.

The fastest growing private companies member has recently invested in a new £4m 34,000 sq ft purpose-built butchery which is three times the size of its former production unit. The company recognises its commitment to the environment and is involved in a number of initiatives – for example, in 2012 it was one of the first companies in Wales to sign to the WRAP Hospitality and Foodservice commitment to reduce food and packaging waste.

(89) Stefanini International
  • Sector: IT
  • Date founded: 2009
  • The boss: Marco and Maria Stefanini, Antonio Moreira
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £211.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.25
  • Latest EBITDA: £8.4m

Stefanini was established as an IT training company, and has evolved into a major international technology company providing business process outsourcing, IT infrastructure outsourcing and application services.

The company offers a vast range of services, from end-user computing services, help desk outsourcing, desktop management services, data migration and technology deployments, IT monitoring and systems management.

One of the company’s most recent developments is Sophie, an artificial intelligence cognitive computing platform, which can automate a broad range of business and IT services. Sophie is also able to automate knowledge work such as granting and revoking permissions without any human intervention, understand natural language and generate and evaluate hypotheses that can turn data into solutions.

(90) United Auctions
  • Sector: Agriculture
  • Date founded: 1962
  • The boss: Hugh Leggat
  • Location: Stirlingshire
  • Latest turnover: £24.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9.15
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

United Auctions is a Scottish livestock auctioneer, with origins dating back to 1858 when agricultural surveyors and estate agents Macdonald and McCallum sold livestock from farm to farm.

The business grew and in 1962 the United Auctions Group was formed after amalgamating with Livestock Marts – this also brought together a group of subsidiary companies. This move meant that there were two markets effectively owned by the same group in Stirling, so the group decided to build a new market on the outskirts of town at Kildean. Later, markets were added in Edinburgh, Huntly, Thurso, Forsinard and Lybster following another acquisition.

The business has taken many forms over the years, including a full listing on the FTSE AIM stock exchange, but is currently privately owned by the management and staff. The company deals with more than 18,000 customers across the UK and Ireland each year.

Keep reading to find which other companies made our Hot 10 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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