From 1997-2015: The historical high-rankers of The Hot 100 list of fast-growth British firms

2003

Number one: Abertillery sofa retailer, Sofas UK
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 149-41
Notables: Bannatyne Fitness, run by Duncan Bannatyne (2); Boden (again); Sophos; Cheltenham Town Football Club.
Big themes: Used cars, concrete, TV wholesalers and construction were among the fast-growth sectors.

2004

Number one: Simon Franks’ Redbus Distribution
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 285–60
Notables: Carluccio’s (29); lingerie and swimwear firm Bravissimo (88).
Big themes: There were 60 different industries in the same list.

2005

Number one: Global Draw, a producer of fixed-odds betting terminals
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 307.7-55.2
Notables: Innocent (3); Moneysupermarket (4); Coffee Nation (21); Littlestar, the producers of Mamma Mia the Musical (28); private members club Soho House (45); media investor Ingenious Media (47); Durbin (52); Loch Fyne restaurants (53); Portsmouth City Football Club (63); Firebox, which morphed into Mind Candy and spawned the global Moshi Monsters phenomenon (78); your old friends, Friends United (100).
Big themes: These were the entrepreneurial glory years, when the UK spawned a host of high-profile fast-growth, brand-name businesses.

2006

Number one: MX Telecom
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 293-53
Notables: 99p Stores (again); Net-a-Porter (16); The Sanctuary (20); Jimmy Choo (31); care home operator Barchester (57); Capital Pub Company (59); Moneysupermarket (69); Innocent (again); David Beckham’s Footwork Productions (53); mortgage provider London & Country Homes (96); Coffee Nation (100).
Big themes: Shoes, spas, mortgages, coffee… these were the hyper years.

2007

Number one: Online electronics retailer Expansys
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 391-57.6
Notables: Vue Entertainment (4); Northern Racing (25); Joe Browns (46).
Big themes: Strong performance from the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

2008

Number one: Lance Uggla’s derivatives market data provider, Markit
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 234-51
Big themes: The City years. Winton Capital, the hedge fund run by David Harding, was the most profitable, with margins at 65 per cent.

2009

Number one: Engineering design and technical recruitment business, List Group
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 374-30
Big themes: “A sombre feel to this year’s list,” the introduction started. Note the lowering growth rates at the bottom end of the list.

2010

Number one: International Plywood
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 390-46
Big themes: “Cash is tight. Margins are under pressure. Growth is harder to achieve.” So began the 2010 Hot 100. Real estate and construction was the biggest industry in the list, with 20 companies, but all this was about to change.

2012

Number one: Solar energy provider Alternergy
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 130-29
Notables: Fewer high-profile businesses in the list, though online bike retailer Wiggle came in at 21.
Big themes: Sectors such as budget retail and outsourced services began to make a mark.

2013

Number one: Potensial, a support network for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 146-29
Notables: Sun Mark, distributors of supermarket products (32); Sushi bar chain Wasabi (33).
Big themes: The era of retaining talented employees. As Sun Mark founder Rami Ranger wisely said: “Look after your staff. Money doesn’t make money; people make money.”

2014

Number one: Hamiltons Galleries, which is run by Green Shield Stamp heir Tim Jefferies  
Spread (average annual growth rate of number one company to number 100 company in %): 130.9-31.61
Notables: Ed’s Easy Diner (12); Children’s clothes designer Childrensalon (22); Thai restaurant chain Busaba Eathai (96).
Big themes: The role of manufacturers and exporters in driving the UK’s economy forward was made evident in the 2014 Hot 100.

Visit the complete Hot 100 2015 list

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