Hot 100: 2005

Sales: more than £4.5bn. Profits: more than £271m. Employees: 35,000. Meet the UK’s fastest-growing private businesses in 2005 and the entrepreneurs behind them in this year’s Hot 100. As one of our Hot 100 puts it, "Without growth, people get bored," says Richard Higham, chief executive of energy firm Acteon (74th). If you want to hang on to key staff – an acute problem in the oil and gas industry – Higham says employees "have to be able to see the dream going forward, and believe they can be part of it".

Click here to read the full, inspirational story of Britain’s fastest-growing businesses.

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