Telling the truth about SME life today

Transport and logistics

What do you do when the Norwich-based company that you work for is bought out and operations are moved hundreds of miles away… to Aberdeen”

Jonathan Soar, Bob MacMillan and John Doherty decided to jump ship and set up their own company, Oceanteam 2000 (2nd) (trading as Ot2K). The firm provides diving and surveying services to the offshore oil and gas industries. It recently raised £50m from investors to build its own vessels and is planning to float on the Oslo stock exchange (Oslo Børs).

Specialising in marine and onshore site investigations is Geotechnical Engineering & Marine Surveys (12th). Its projects are carried out all over the world – from the harbours of Zeebrugge in Belgium to the Korle Lagoon in Ghana. And business is good, with 140 per cent compound growth over the past four years.

South Eastern Fuels (14th) is another firm experiencing turbo-charged growth. The domestic heating distributor delivers gas, oil, diesel and paraffin to London and the home counties. The burgeoning fuel market, propelled by inflated oil prices, has helped generate revenues of £68.3m.

Also benefiting from sky-high oil prices is biofuel firm Greenergy (67th). Founded by Andrew Owens in 1992, this London-based firm stormed onto our Hot 100 list three years ago and has refused to budge. And for the second year running, it’s also the biggest company on the list.

If you’re about to embark on a long journey by car, check out Portable Multimedia’s (7th) The Surrey-based firm designs and manufactures portable entertainment systems, designed especially for cars. Graham Lambert came up with the idea in 1999 after he linked a video player to a small screen – allowing him to watch films in the car – and realised he’d hit on a niche market.

The company with one of the longest names in this year’s Hot 100 is Meade-King, Robinson & Co (74th). It’s been distributing oils and chemicals for more than 140  years, acting as an overseas selling arm for big oil producers such as Shell.


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