The UK’s fastest growing private companies: The Hot 100 2016

138 min read

10 November 2016

Former special projects journalist

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.

Using information from Companies House, in partnership with Jordans, the Hot 100 is based on turnover and profit growth (in particular, the compound growth rates over a four-year period) and definitively reveals which are the UK’s fastest growing private companies and fastest growing UK retailers.

To make this exhaustive list showcasing enterprise growth, each had to achieve sales of more than £10m and EBITDA of more than £1m, be in the private sphere and actively trading. All accounts has to be filed in the past two years, and a credit rating available. Charities, investment firms and property developers were not eligible for the list.

Once the final Hot 100 2016 list was compiled, the Real Business team then created a profile for each individual company, detailing the most recent turnover, EBITDA figures, location, boss and other key information.

So peruse the list – from manufacturers to technology innovators and service providers across an extremely diverse range of industries, you’ll see that our 100 fastest growing private companies are each bringing something unique to the table.

(1) Domus Group of Companies
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1999
  • The boss: John Newey
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £27.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 100.07
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.1m

Kicking off our ranking of the UK’s fastest growing private companies is Domus, a tiles supplier with a reputation for its work on high profile commercial and residential designs, such as Battersea Power Station, Heathrow Terminal two, and the new American Embassy in Nine Elms. It has won awards for some of its previous projects, including the Foyles flagship bookstore in London, Heathrow Terminal five and Wembley Stadium.

From its initial supply of tiles, the company expanded its offering in 2014 to include a range of engineered oak flooring made from European White Oak from Poland and finished in Italy.

In December 2015, Domus merged with sister brand Surface to become a consolidated brand. The merger meant an extended showroom network and product portfolio, streamlined customer service and more competitive prices.

Domus offers more than 200 product ranges of its mosaics, stone and wood tiles in 10,000 colours, finishes and sizes. It stocks over 100,000 sq m of tiles and operates out of its 100,000 square foot logistic centre in West Molesey. The company has five showrooms across London and Surrey, located in Battersea, Clerkenwell, London, Islington and West Molesey, and employs more than 150 staff.

(2) Grey Technology
  • Sector: Engineering
  • Date founded: 2001
  • The boss: Nick Grey
  • Location: Worcestershire
  • Latest turnover: £66m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 97.18
  • Latest EBITDA: £6.1m

Grey Technology, which uses the trademark Gtech, designs and manufactures cordless home and garden appliances such as vacuum cleaners, floor sweepers and grass trimmers.

The brand was founded by Nick Grey, from Worcestershire, who had previously worked at vacuum cleaner brand VAX. Working initially out of his home, he came up with his mission “to provide the best loved floor-care and garden products in the world”.

The company went from strength-to-strength – in 2006, five years after launch, turnover passed the £6m mark.

Grey invented the world’s first cordless power sweeper, and since then the company has gone on to sell over 22m products in 19 countries around the world. Its latest product is the AirRAM cordless vacuum cleaner, launched in 2012. Gtech has also designed several products on a white label basis for other brands.

The company has employees in the UK, US, and China. Gtech has reportedly been subject to several corporate espionage attempts to rival manufacturers over the years.

(3) LSE Retail Group
  • Sector: Home retail
  • Date founded: 2009
  • The boss: David Gutfreund
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Latest turnover: £14.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 66.67
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

LSE Retail Group is an online retailer of home and commercial lighting. The company also has a trade division that sells directly to building trades, retailers and wholesalers. It was established in 2009 and now fulfills more than one million orders a year from its distribution facility in Manchester. LSE Retail Group also owns MiniSun, a lighting brand and LED lighting products innovator.

The company stocks over 3,000 unique lighting products across all categories, from LED bulbs to outdoor lighting. The company’s automated order flow processes and technology driven warehouse management systems enable it to ship orders placed before 2pm on the same day, for next day delivery.

The brand has managed to maintain strong profitable growth since launch, and is one of the UK’s fastest growing private companies in the lighting distributor and retailer space. In fact, LSE has made the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 for 2015, coming in at number 24.

Looking forward, the brand aims to prioritise a continued investment in people, systems and new product development.

(4) Sewells Reservoir Construction
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1989
  • The boss: Oliver Rees
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £20.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 64.54
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.5m

SRC Aggregates is an independent, family-owned business, providing a number of aggregate services, as well as quarry and agricultural reservoir planning and development. In addition, it operates recycling equipment for waste disposal services for inert, non-hazardous waste, as well as hazardous materials.

Based at its Highwood Quarry near Stansted Airport, the company operates across East Anglia, London and Hertfordshire. The company opened a quarry in Ardleigh in 2011, which resulted in the production of sand and gravel for clients.

Two years later the firm dramatically changed when it moved on from operating solely with contract drivers and hired vehicles by activating its first company fleet. It is continuing to grow to this day, and recently evolved its fleet by replacing its older Bell Equipment B30Ds with new next-generation B30Es. According to managing director, Oliver Rees, this move came in a bid to retain and enhance its reputation – and he believes that the new equipment does not just meet, but exceeds expectations.

(5) Collins Earthworks
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 2000
  • The boss: David Collins
  • Location: Nottinghamshire
  • Latest turnover: £32.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 61.86
  • Latest EBITDA: £4.8m

Collins Earthworks manages a variety of earthmoving projects and related services, including contracting, surveying, plant hire, hauling, civil engineering, aggregates, recycling, ground stabilisation, and demolition.

In addition to this range of services, Collins Earthworks has added training services to its offering. The company offers a variety of training programmes, including: CPCS plant training, NVQ courses, Site Safety Pus, specialist construction, working at height, manual handling, abrasive wheel and face fit testing.

The company is proud of its commitment to meet the demands of its customers from consultation to construction, and has been providing these services all over the UK from its base in the Midlands for over ten years.

Collins Earthworks has its own workshop and mobile service units with fully qualified fitters to keep machine time down to a minimum, maximise productivity and meet customers’ deadlines.

The firm also positions itself as an industry expert, with a team of staff on hand to provide a practical solution for all your waste transfer requirements, and aims to make further investments in fleet and staff in the future.

(6) Panther Warehousing
  • Sector: Logistics
  • Date founded: 2009
  • The boss: Colin McCarthy
  • Location: Northamptonshire
  • Latest turnover: £27.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 53.40
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.1m

Panther Warehousing is a supplier of UK-wide two-man and one-man assisted “white glove” home delivery services to a number of online and multi-channel furniture and white goods retailers and manufactures.

Based in Northampton, the business operates a nationwide network supported by six dedicated out-base depots. It has developed its own bespoke operational systems supporting a delivery service including route planning, management control and track and trace for the end customer.

The company is dedicated to further growth, and recently relocated to a new cross dock facility in Northampton. More than three times the size of the company’s previous home at Crick, the 165,000 sq ft site, at Lodge Farm Industrial Estate in Northampton, allows Panther to better serve the increasing demands of customers and to the exponential growth levels of the past three years.

In addition, earlier this year the business invested £3m in a new fleet to cater for increased business. It is an ambitious step to reflect the increase in demand for Panther’s services and a surge in new contracts – predominantly from furniture and household retailers keen to take advantage of its next-day delivery of heavy goods.

(7) MSI Group
  • Sector: Healthcare recruitment
  • Date founded: 2006
  • The boss: Nick Simpson
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £56.0m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 52.97
  • Latest EBITDA: £1m

Founded in 2002, MSI Group is a supplier of frontline health jobs, healthcare professionals, senior healthcare managers, pharmaceutical, medical device and life science staff. Its clients include the NHS and other public, private and third sector organisations across 11 countries.

As one of our fastest growing private companies, the group has doubled in size since 2012, which makes it one of the healthcare recruitment companies in the UK to watch. It has provided candidates for health jobs across the UK and globally, including nursing jobs, doctors’ jobs, mental health roles and more.

In addition to providing the staff, MSI provides consultancy services to reduce agency spend, and manages the full recruitment cycle. The group has developed an online platform that gives users real-time access to each stage of the booking process.

The group has won many awards and accreditations that recognise the quality of service it provides, including placement a Sunday Times Fast Track award, two years in a row, and the Queen’s Award for International Enterprise.

(8) Skyscanner
  • Sector: Travel
  • Date founded: 2011
  • The boss: Gareth Williams
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £119.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 52.92
  • Latest EBITDA: £18.6m

Skyscanner is a global travel search site which allows users to compare the best prices for flights and make bookings online. The company was created when the founder, Gareth Williams, got frustrated with trying to find cheap flights and sought to create a solution with his two friends, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes.

Williams’ 14 years of experience as a developer for financial institutions and retail companies have helped him make Skyscanner what it is today – a free service that enables 50m people every month to book flights, hotels and hire cars.

The company also powers travel search for over 1,000 partners through Skyscanner for Business products. Its free mobile apps have been downloaded over 40m times and services are available in over 30 languages and 70 currencies.

These days, Skyscanner employs over 770 staff, and has offices in Barcelona, Beijing, Budapest, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Miami, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sofia.

Its investors include SEP, Sequoia, Artemis, Baillie Gifford, Khazanah, Vitruvian Partners and Yahoo! JAPAN.

(9) Signature Pubs
  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Date founded: 2006
  • The boss: Nic Wood
  • Location: Aberdeenshire
  • Latest turnover: £11.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 48.67
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

Signature Pubs was founded by brothers Nic and Garreth Wood, a venture initially funded by their father and oil billionaire Ian Wood, chairman of the Aberdeen-based Wood Group.

The brothers both had a background working in pubs and spent some months in America researching bar concepts to introduce at their own venues across Scotland. Each pub is decorated to suit the local area and clientele.

The company is ever-expanding, and in May of this year the pair bought their first Glasgow-based pubs as part of deal to acquire five venues owned by Tennet’s through its Thistle Pub company subsidiary.

The business was recognised for its dedication to its venues earlier this year when it was among the winners in this year’s BII Scotland Award – Signature Pubs was named Bar Operator of the Year for its 12 bars and restaurants in a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

(10) Thompson Aero Seating
  • Sector: Aviation manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1997
  • The boss: James Thompson
  • Location: County Armagh
  • Latest turnover: £64.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 46.18
  • Latest EBITDA: £11m

Thompson Aero Seating is a manufacturer of premium business-class, full flat-bed airline seating. Its bespoke solutions aim to maximise passengers’ personal space and optimise every inch of the cabin.

Founded in 1997, the business had secured a production facility at the Seagoe Industrial Park in Northern Ireland by 2011 in a bid to meet the increased demand.

Within 12 months, Thompson Vantage Business Class seats had been designed, manufactured and delivered to the first three customers: bmi, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines. In 2012 a further four customers selected the Thompson Vantage, including Thompson’s first Airbus line-fit program with JetBlue.

By 2014 its manufacturing facilities had grown in excess of 10,000 sq m, and Thompson has continued to innovate up to the present day. In early 2016, the business strengthened its position in the US market with the announcement to supply Delta’s new A350 fleet with the new Thompson Vantage XL Suite.

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

(11) Fastflow Group
  • Sector:
  • Date founded: 2004
  • The boss: Neil Armstrong
  • Location: Tyne and Wear
  • Latest turnover: £70.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 42.91
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.6m

Fastflow is an asset maintenance company, operating in the UK support services and infrastructure sectors. Its 600-strong workforce, operating from Oxford, London, Washington (Tyne and Wear), Scotland, Warrington and Reading, aims to enhance the efficiency of its customers’ assets by providing sustainable, innovative service delivery.

Today, the group delivers 80 per cent of Northumbrian Water Group’s clean water services across the UK (North East and Essex regions) and this continues to be one of the company’s key strategic relationships.

In addition, this fastest growing private companies entry is a long-term delivery partner for Scottish Water and Anglian (Hartlepool) Water. Fastflow’s customer portfolio spans water, energy, social housing, local authority, and central government asset owners.

(12) The7starsUK
  • Sector: Media
  • Date founded: 2005
  • The boss: Jenny Biggam
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £209.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 42.15
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.1m

The7starsUK is the UK’s largest independent media agency, planning and buying campaigns across all media channels for a number of challenging advertisers.

The brand started life in 2005 with its core beliefs that it stands by to this day, namely: great service starts with the best people; the best rates come without compromise; great planning looks forward, not back; and the best campaigns start with smart insights. The business does not do agency deals, because it claims it compromises its clients’ budgets. Instead it negotiated each plan with the client directly.

It won Bronze in the Agency of the Year category at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards earlier this year, where two of its artists also received accolades.

The7stars’ clients include big household names such as Deep Heat, Crocs, Boux Avenue, The Dogs Trust, the Discovery Channel and Fever Tree.

In June this year it was announced that the business is looking to launch a new offering. The new media agency will be lead by Henry Daglish and will have a distinctive and slightly different proposition.

(13) John F Hunt
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 2006
  • The boss: John Hall
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £84.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 41.43
  • Latest EBITDA: £6.5m

John F Hunt can trace its existence back to the 1930s, to a blacksmith’s under the name Joseph Hunt and Sons of Diss Street, Hackney.

In the 1980s a business called John F Hunt Demolition was formed, concentrating on demolition and industrial dismantling, and it continues to operate to this day. The group as it exists today was incorporated in 2006.

The business has since expanded to encompass many related activities, such as controlled explosive demolition, temporary works, civil engineering, asbestos removal, ground remediation and four specialist hire companies. Its head office is in Grays, Essex, but it operates nationally utilising a number of depots nationwide to fill its orders.

The group has received many awards and certifications over the years. It is most proud of its awards from the City of London and Corporation of London for its innovation, safety an environmental management.

It is also an accredited member of several professional bodies, such as the Asbestos Removal Contractor Association, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, and the British Safety Council.

(14) Lognet Systems
  • Sector: IT services
  • Date founded: 1996
  • The boss: Taly Eshel
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £10.1m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 33.15
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

LogNet Systems is an online billing and customer relations management software solutions developer for telecommunications companies.

Lognet Systems actually represents a group of companies headquartered in the UK and operating throughout EMEA, APAC and the Americas. The group works together with a global network of partners to promote and deliver its customer management and billing services.

LogNet Systems’ customer management and billing solutions serve a variety of single and multiple service operations, creating opportunities for service providers to add new services or merge multiple business lines, while reducing the complexity of operations and associated IT costs. Solutions include electronic bill payment, electronic statements, one-to-one marketing and printing connectivity.

The fastest growing private companies member has designed and deployed more than 50 complex customer management and billing solutions for communications, utilities, financial and transportation service providers worldwide.

(15) Van Elle
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1984
  • The boss: Jonathan Fenton
  • Location: Nottinghamshire
  • Latest turnover: £84.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 33.14
  • Latest EBITDA: £8.7m

Van Elle is a provider of piling and ground engineering services throughout the British Isles and overseas. It has achieved steady year-on-year growth and has been recognised in its sector for its expertise, innovation and technical excellence, taking home the 2015 Construction News Awards’ Ground Engineering Contractor of the Year, the 2015 Ground Engineering Awards’ Contractor of the Year, the Nottingham Chamber of Commerce’ Business of the Year and two Offshore Excellence Awards.

Recently, the company invested heavily in sustainability-led solutions, such as geothermal piles and boreholes and in IT packages which allow it to maximise efficiency by reducing materials and costs through value engineered design right through to monitoring site activities in real-time from its various office locations around the UK.

The business has set its sights firmly on future growth and further development, and with this in mind in October of this year it has invested in a range of stat-of-the-art plant equipment.

(16) Xiros
  • Sector: Medical manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1982
  • The boss: Bahaa Seedhom
  • Location: West Yorkshire
  • Latest turnover: £10.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 31.14
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.1m

Xiros works with healthcare professionals, medical device companies and academic institutions to provide various routes to market for orthopedics and sports medicine inventions.

The company was founded in 1982 and was originally called Neoligaments. The name changed to Xiros in 2000 to reflect its widening scope of business activities.

Alongside the development and manufacture of its own devices which it continues to market under the Neoligaments brand, Xiros also provides expertise in research, development, design, manufacture and marketing to others in the medical field.

Xiros’ ethos is to make a positive difference to the world, both through its business and non-profit activities. It takes an active interest in environmental issues, and its environmental group meets regularly to assess the ways in which is can make a positive impact on its surroundings. Previous projects have included installation of solar roof panels and sourcing electric company cars to reduce carbon emissions.

Xiros has held the Investors in People Standard since July 2000, and achieved Investors in People Gold Standard Accreditation in March 2016. It also achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for a second time in 2016.

(17) Conexpo
  • Sector: Aggregates
  • Date founded: 1991
  • The boss:Jonathan Beryl, Robert and Stephen McCluskey
  • Location: County Antrim
  • Latest turnover: £23.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 30.90
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.7m

Conexpo is a Belfast-based aggregates mining company with quarries located within a 15km radius of the Port of Belfast terminal.

The company has supplied high polished stone value aggregate to prestigious contracts, including aggregates ranging from 2mm to 20mm, and volumes from 200 tonne to 200,000 tonne.

The Conexpo ship loading terminal can handle vessels up to 130m. The company operates vehicles under its own stevedoring license and can load vessels at up to 1,000 tonnes per hour. In addition, the company operates a distribution hub at Avonmouth Docks, Bristol, with the ability to load customer’s rail wagons or road transport.

The company operates certified management systems for quality, health and safety and the environment. In addition, it works closely with local schools, colleges and universities on a technical/quality level and assists young people to develop the skills required to benefit the industry for generations to come.

(18) Roundel Manufacturing
  • Sector: Furniture
  • Date founded: 1981
  • The boss: Lindsey Oman
  • Location: Tyne and Wear
  • Latest turnover: £19.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 29.47
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.8m

Roundel Manufacturing was founded in 1981to manufacture kitchens on sale through showrooms, but it quickly became apparent the business could also offer its product to trade customers.

Roundel started to supply independent retailers with its kitchens in 1983. In1984 an opportunity presented itself to supply kitchens to a number of nationally recognised house builders, something which continues to this day.

Roundel currently operates from six sites with a workforce of approximately 160 with a head office located in South Shields. For retail customers, the business supplies kitchens under the trading style of Nixons Kitchens and provides an independent website

(19) Hays Travel
  • Sector: Travel
  • Date founded: 1980
  • The boss: Irene Hays
  • Location: Tyne and Wear
  • Latest turnover: £306m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 29.28
  • Latest EBITDA: £5.5m

Hays Travel is the UK’s largest independent travel agent. It all began back in 1980 when John Hays opened his first branch in the back of his mum’s children’s wear shop in Seaham, county Durham.

Today, the company’s annual turnover is more than £800m, and it employs over a thousand people. Across the country it has more than 100 retail shops and over 130 experienced travel agents who work from their homes.

The company also arranges all the extras like car hire, transfers and insurance. There’s a foreign exchange bureau in each of its branches across the north east, where customers can pick up commission free currency before they set off on holiday.

Hays Travel also runs the Hays Travel Independence Group, a consortium of independent travel retailers who benefit from Hays Travel’s buying power, technology and back office expertise.

The fastest growing private companies entry prides itself on its reputation for giving back and the staff get involved in local community partnership projects on a regular basis. Hays has been awarded the Investors in People Gold status, and has been included on the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work for in the UK.

(20) The Hut Group
  • Sector: Ecommerce
  • Date founded: 2004
  • The boss: Matthew Moulding
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Latest turnover: £333.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 28.50
  • Latest EBITDA: £20.9m

The Hut Group is an online health and beauty retailer. The global ecommerce platform powers some of the world’s largest brands, including Myprotein and Lookfantastic.

Initially the business sought to provide a technology platform for retailers needing ecommerce services, and by 2006 the firm had changed tack to primarily powering its own websites or acquiring existing ones. Nowadays the firm sells third-party branded or own brand health and beauty products across 26 websites.

In 2014, the business invested £15m in developing its technology, and now trades in 20 languages. Last year it shipped 13m orders to 190 countries, driving international sales that year by 74 per cent to £113.3m, almost half of its total revenue.

The company’s growth has caught the eye of investors, and in July last year, American private equity firm KKR took a 20 per cent stake for £100m. Balderton Capital, former Tesco boss Terry Leahy, M&S’s former head Stuart Rose and ex-Matalan chief Angus Munro have also been involved with the brand.

The company is constantly looking to grow and in September this year acquired Ideal, a weight management and sports nutrition retailer, which trades under IdealShape and IdealFit.

Ideal generates $60m of online, direct-to-consumer revenues annually and boasts an annual growth rate of over 250 per cent.

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

(21) Unique Window Systems
  • Sector: Building materials
  • Date founded: 2004
  • The boss: Sunil Patel
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £14.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 28.37
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

Unique Window Systems was established in in 2004 as a manufacturer of PVC-U, aluminium fenestration and building products. All products are fabricated at the company’s Leicester-based production facility.

The company’s extensive portfolio encompasses a full range of products for all types of new build, home improvement and refurbishment projects, designed to suit all customer requirements, from contemporary bi-fold doors, residential entrance and French doors to casement, tilt and turn or vertical sliding sash windows.

Unique Windows prides itself on its continued investment in state-of-the-art machinery to optimise its offering and enable it to maintain a more competitive pricing policy.

(22) Barrhead Travel
  • Sector: Travel
  • Date founded: 1975
  • The boss: Sharon Munro
  • Location: Lanarkshire
  • Latest turnover: £115.1m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 28.31
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

Barrhead Travel was founded in 1975 as a single high street shop, and has since gone on to become a 900-employee operation with outlets including travel agency stores, business travel offices and contact centres.

The team at Barrhead enjoys a programme of training and development that is geared to reflect the company’s commitment to providing the best service to its clients. The business operates extended hours to ensure that customers can enquire and book holidays at a time that suits them.

In addition, Barrhead operates its own summer charter flight programme from three UK airports to destinations in the Mediterranean each year, taking over 22,000 holidaymakers to their destinations. In recognition of its achievements, the business has been voted UK Travel Agent of the Year at the Travel Trade Gazette Awards for seven years in a row.

Barrhead has outlets in Scotland, the North of England and Northern Ireland, telephone travel consultants and six specialist websites dedicated to helping its customers book the right holiday.

The brand has been identified by independent researchers as one of the best-run and most financially strong travel businesses in Britain, with a talent for identifying new routes to market.

(23) Renewable Energy Systems
  • Sector: Renewable energy
  • Date founded: 1982
  • The boss: Douglas Catto
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Latest turnover: £947.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 28.24
  • Latest EBITDA: £17.5m

RES is an independent renewable energy company. The business develops, engineers, constructs, finances and operates projects around the globe. Its mission is to change the way people think about energy, which it believes is a vital transition to create a world where everyone has access to affordable low carbon energy.

The business operates in both the centralised energy market and the evolving distributed energy market around the world.

Initially the business was researching early wind turbine technologies in the 1980s, and three decades in the global portfolio exceeds ten Gigawatts. The business hopes to power positive change with wind and solar for renewable power generation, and transmission and energy storage as enablers to a low carbon future.

The business describes itself as curious and relentless in searching for solutions to today’s energy problems and is always looking to grow and adapt. This year saw its first UK energy storage project integrated with solar park in Somerset for Western Power Distribution.

(24) Ohob
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 2012
  • The boss: Tom O’Brien
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £204.5
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 27.91
  • Latest EBITDA: £16.4m

Ohob, which stands for O’Halloran and O’Brien, was incorporated in 1972, and is now the sole owner of Tom O’Brien. The company has evolved from a small groundworks company to a multi-disciplined major contractor, encompassing the full spectrum of Civil Engineering and ground remediation.

The fastest growing private companies inclusion also owns B&T Plant Hire, which provides specialist support for all its hire requirements and also hires externally to major contractors.

The services offered by Ohob include concrete frames, highway works, remediation and regeneration, trade and domestic housing. The reinforced concrete frame division of the company accounted for nearly 55 per cent of the turnover in 2010. The company has achieved continued growth in this sector through the development of necessary technical and professional capabilities.

The company’s structure enables it to tender for and complete projects of varying size and complexity, including all infrastructure work from a few units to multi-million pound schemes.

Ohob is also committed to maintaining the highest standards of safe environmentally managed construction services. Its vision is to be widely known and respected for delivering safe, environmentally controlled, building and civil engineering services.

(25) Cawingredients
  • Sector: Food and drink
  • Date founded: 2008
  • The boss: Andrew Cawthray
  • Location: North Yorkshire
  • Latest turnover: £50.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 27.25
  • Latest EBITDA: £5m

Cawingredients was established in 2008 with a purpose-built factory at a 26-acre site in Leeming Bar. The site houses three production lines, and one is capable of running 50,000 bottles an hour, according to FMCG magazine. Initially, the facility was built with one production line, with the second added in 2012 and the third only in 2015.

The facility also covers all of the business’ warehousing, dispatch facilities and raw material storage. It was recognised by Insider magazine as Yorkshire’s fastest-growing business for 2015 by turnover over the last five years.

Initially, the facility was built with one production line, with the second added in 2012 and the third only just last year.

Cawthray has also previously told that the business is looking at constructing a fully automated warehouse complex. The complex would house 30,000 pallet spaces and the latest technology, and would be situated next to its factory to improve product flow. This new warehouse is expected to be in operation in 2017.

(26) SSE Audio Group
  • Sector: AV
  • Date founded: 1976
  • The boss: John Penn
  • Location: Worcestershire
  • Latest turnover: £25.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 26.70
  • Latest EBITDA: £4m

SSE Audio Group was founded in 1976 and provides professional audio services to the live events industry. The services include pro audio (PA) hire, equipment sales and sound, lighting and video installations for all kinds of venues. The group provides sound solutions for shows, tours, and permanent installations.

SSE’s breakthrough as a rental company with a national profile came in 1977. SSE had supplied PA to a support band called Darts. As they became more successful, SSE expanded to supply them. Over time SSE began to develop its reputation as a PA sales outlet, building distributorships alongside its own manufacturing.

The business is currently headquartered in Redditch near Birmingham, and has additional facilities in London, the North of England, and mainland Europe.

The group continues to strive for growth, and its most recent acquisition was Manchester-based Wigwam Acoustics. Wigwam has its own hire, sales and installations portfolio and brings a wealth of experience to the group and the addition of loudspeaker systems.

(27) Dairy Partners
  • Sector: Food and drink
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Clive and William Bennett, Robert Peel
  • Location: Gloucestershire
  • Latest turnover: £51.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 26.56
  • Latest EBITDA: £3m

Dairy Partners produces cheese from milk supplied by its own contracted farmers. The business manufactures mozzarella, pizza cheese and other cheese ingredient types in fresh, frozen formats, as well as fat filled mozzarella and vegetable fat cheese.

Dairy Partners is the only fully integrated pizza cheese and mozzarella manufacturing, shredding and processing business in Northern Europe.

Most of the brand’s cheeses are classified as pasta filata cheese. This is a unique, traditional kneading treatment of the fresh curd in hot water, which imparts the finished cheese its characteristic fibrous structure and melting and stretching properties. The brand also offers a liquid range of cream and batter mixes for dairy desserts.

The business works with customers across the food service, manufacturing and retail sectors to provide branded and own brand solutions from its manufacturing sites in Gloucestershire and Carmarthenshire.

Dairy Partners is always on the lookout for new opportunities and in 2016 started production of healthy kids snack Cheese Peelers and Simpsons string cheese. It is the only British dairy brand making string cheese snacks.

(28) The CDE Group
  • Sector: Engineering
  • Date founded: 2000
  • The boss: Brendan McGurgan
  • Location: Cookstown, NI
  • Latest turnover: £46.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 26.11
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.9m

CDE Global is a wet processing equipment company for sand and aggregates, mining, C&D waste recycling and industrial sands. It is headquartered in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

The company was founded in 1992, and in 2010 it underwent a name change from CDE Ireland to CDE Global to reflect the widening scope of its activities.

In 2013 the fastest growing private companies outfit represented the UK in the European Business Awards having been crowned national champions, picked up the Excellence in Private Business Award from PwC, and was also crowned All-Island Champions in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards in Dublin.

In 2014, CDE was incorporated in the US as it seeks to grow in the US and Canada. 2015 was also a busy year, and saw the completion of an installation of the largest wet processing plant for the recycling of construction, demolition and excavation waste in the world for Velde Pukk in Stavanger, Norway.

With further growth in mind, the group extended its production and assembly facility in Northern Ireland this year, which has resulted in a 32 per cent increase in production capacity.

(29) Nurture Landscapes
  • Sector: Landscaping
  • Date founded: 2008
  • The boss: Simon Blackley and Mark Fane
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £20.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 26.01
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

In 2008, Nurture Landscapes was launched with just four employees. The recession presented an unexpected opportunity for the brand, as companies were looking to reduce costs and overheads, and as a young and adaptable company it was able to provide more cost-efficient services.

The business has always had a focus on organic growth and has secured over £10m of new landscape maintenance work since opening. In addition to winning work, the brand has made a number of acquisitions in order to widen its geographical footprint across the UK.

In 2012, Nurture Landscapes made its largest acquisition to date, namely Blackburn-based Parkview Landscapes. This provided a strategic expansion into the north of England and Scotland, and six new depots added to its nationwide network.

In 2015 it acquired Integritas Landscapes from Securitas UK, a move that saw more than 100 staff join the company and boosting annual sales.

(30) Kaye Aluminium
  • Sector: Industrial engineering
  • Date founded: 2004
  • The boss: Felipe Quinta
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Latest turnover: £68m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 25.73
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.2m

Kaye Aluminium is an independent extrusion company and producer of aluminium applications for various market sectors, including electronic trunking, air conditioning ceiling systems, signage, construction, and green houses, among others.

The business provides extrusions, vertical paint plant, anodising, thermal break, re-cut, machining and distribution services. It specialises in bespoke solutions and is constantly investing in training programmes to ensure its staff are skilled enough to provide the services required.

The Kaye facility covers an eight-acre site in Doncaster, and has a maximum potential of 1,000 tonnes. The 135,000 Square foot factory recently featured as “Factory of the Month”, in a manufacturer magazine.

Kaye says that its philosophy is to provide the customer with the correct finished product, first time, on time, every time.

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

(31) FP McCann
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1979
  • The boss: Eoin McCann
  • Location: County Londonderry
  • Latest turnover: £168.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 25.51
  • Latest EBITDA: £11.6m

FP McCann is a manufacturer and supplier of precast concrete products. It manages projects from conception to completion and handover by providing facilities and general management throughout the build programme.

The brand has 12 UK based manufacturing facilities and offers services such as drainage and water management, tunnels and shafts, rail, power and infrastructure, walling, fencing, agricultural, flooring, bespoke precast and architectural and structural products.

As a business, FP McCann is committed to research and development, the latest being its precast storm and waste water management system “StormStore”, which was developed to suit a wide range of construction projects and drainage schemes. In addition, the company is committed to developing new services for the civil engineering, ready mix concrete options, surfacing and housing development spaces.

As an organisation, FP McCann is continually striving to promote recycling and reduce waste by providing the most sustainable materials and innovating to provide carbon efficient alternatives. For example, its concrete and asphalts includes ranges offered that replace ingredients with recyclable materials offering more carbon efficient alternatives.

(32) Exponential-e
  • Sector: IT
  • Date founded: 2002
  • The boss: Lee Wade
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £77.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 23.58
  • Latest EBITDA: £10.4m

Exponential-e is a British provider of cloud, connectivity, business internet, unified communications and IT services. Its services are delivered over a cloud-ready network designed for growth, and currently over 2,800 companies use its services.

The business claims that its fusion of complementary technologies – a carrier-class network and cloud infrastructure – means it can deliver enterprise applications at wire speed for a superior end-user experience.

The company is proud of its technology firsts – namely the UK’s first VPLS network and bandwidth management service. VPLS is a Layer 2 Network technology that allows geographically-diverse locations to connect together as if on the same Local Area Network (LAN). Exponential-e designed and built this technology back in 2006.

The business’ ethos is to apply innovation in everything we do to ensure our customers’ technology strategies are sustained ahead of the competition.

(33) The Clifton Packaging Group
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 2002
  • The boss: Shahid Sheikh
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £18.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 23.22
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.6m

The Clifton Packaging Group specialises in the manufacture of packaging. It was established in London in 1981 as a manufacturer of plain carrier bags and paper bags for retail outlets, and in recent years has directed its efforts towards manufacturing flexible packaging materials for the snack food, confectionery, bakery and health food markets.

The company’s product offering includes: speciality coated films, pouches, and an ovenable range of packaging solutions, among many others.

Today it is based in Leicester and has set itself a sales target of £20m within the next three years, which is achievable based on capacity, according to managing director Shahid Sheikh. The business is also open to growth through acquisitions.

Clifton also recently updated its equipment in order to be able to expand its packaging offering to include features such as one-colour gravure printing, cold-seal coating, gloss-matt lacquering in register, and solvent based lamination.

In addition, as one of our fastest growing private companies, it’s also worth noting that the business is seeking distributors to get into Europe, with North America to follow in due course.

(34) John Nixon
  • Sector: Plant hire
  • Date founded: 1967
  • The boss: John Nixon
  • Location: Tyne and Wear
  • Latest turnover: £52.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 23.06
  • Latest EBITDA: £11.1m

John Nixon is a leading provider of plant, tools, accommodation units, portable toilets and site equipment to hire. It has an ever-expanding network of depots throughout the UK and the Middle East.

The business was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It has over 440 product ranges and 15,000 assets available for hire. The average age of its equipment is 2.7 years, but in case something goes wrong with the assets there is a responsive breakdown team on hand.

The business is dedicated to ensuring a high level of safety standards to all of its operations. It supplies important safety information with each piece hired and has also produced a series of safety videos to assist customers in the safe operation of assets.

The business, as with most modern hire fleets in the industry, continues to invest heavily in latest models with lower emissions to stay up to date with legislation regarding carbon footprints.

(35) Itsu
  • Sector: Food and drink
  • Date founded: 1997
  • The boss: Julian Metcalfe, Clive Schlee
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £82.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 22.24
  • Latest EBITDA: £5.9m

Itsu is a British chain of Asian-inspired fast food, based on the premise that lunch can be light, green and good for you. Its “eat beautiful” menu aims to celebrate the flavours of the Far East – it is high in nutrients yet low in calories and saturated fat.

The brand sells low carb salads, fields of crunchy vegetables, hot chicken noodle soups, brown rice pots, freshly made sushi and sashimi as well as frozen yoghurt and smoothies.

The brand was launched in 1997 when there were far fewer Japanese food outlets available in the UK. As of today, Itsu has over 60 shops in London and in other prime sites such as Oxford, Richmond, Stansted Airport, Bicester Village and Brighton by the seaside.

The company is strict when it comes to taking on new suppliers, and this applies to everything from carrots to cardboard boxes. Where possible it sources from the UK, with the exception of tuna. Itsu’s yellowfin tuna is line and pole caught in the Indian Ocean and super frozen.

(36) City Lifting
  • Sector: Plant hire
  • Date founded: 1995
  • The boss: Trevor Jepson
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £19.2m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 20.85
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.1m

City Lifting is a specialist mobile crane hire and tower crane hire company. The company also offers cranes for sale, traffic management and auto cad services.

The company works in every industry and environment, from private houses to large construction projects and complicated industrial sites. It has completed hundreds of projects airside at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, and all cranes and crew are Crossrail compliant to cover London’s new railway system.

City Lifting is based in Purfleet inside the M25. These headquarters are situated to serve London and the South East of England, and the site’s workshops are big enough for the biggest cranes and trucks it owns.

The business places a high priority on training and development of all staff to ensure that all equipment is maintained to a high standard. It is also committed to further growth and expanding its assets, and was the first company to take delivery of the Unic 706 mini crane in Europe. It has also recently purchased other new equipment in order to be able to provide a comprehensive offering to its clients.

(37) Luceco
  • Sector: Lighting
  • Date founded: 2014
  • The boss: Jonathan Hornby
  • Location: Shropshire
  • Latest turnover: £103.1m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 20.78
  • Latest EBITDA: £4.2m

Luceco is a global LED lighting brand and supplies high efficiency, energy-saving lighting solutions to the trade, retail and specification markets. Its international offices provide sales and support to the UK, Europe, Middle East, US, Asia-pacific and Africa.

The business’ head office is in London, with global offices in, China, Houston, Hamburg, Paris, Barcelona, Dubai, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. It’s UK facility for distribution, warehousing and sales divisions is based in Telford, UK.

Earlier this year, the brand launched its first US website to cater specifically to that market as it looks to expand its operations overseas.

The company has aimed to build a reputation based on reliability and functionality of its products by offering guarantees and warranties, technical support and marketing backup.

(38) Novosco
  • Sector: IT
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Patrick McAliskey
  • Location: Country Antrim
  • Latest turnover: £20.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 20.45
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

Novosco provides managed services, computer support, cloud services and cloud apps in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Manchester.

The company has delivered enterprise-level hosting services to mid-market organisations in the UK and Ireland for the past 20 years. Its collaborative and open culture was recognised in the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For and in the Deloitte Fast 50 for 16 consecutive years.

Novosco also offers an IT infrastructure summer camp called Cloud Camp as part of its commitment to developing Northern Ireland’s IT talent for the future of the industry. Students get a chance to gain some real, hands-on experience that Novosco hopes will benefit the industry in years to come.

As part of a recent growth strategy which has culminated in it being named one of our fastest growing private companies, Novosco recently announced the acquisition of specialist IT security solutions and managed services expert NetDef. The seven-figure deal saw Novosco increase its workforce to 140 and add a world-class security specialism to its highly-regarded service offering.

NetDef counts a number of metropolitan police forces, NHS trusts and financial services organisations amongst its client-base, in addition to two Premier League football clubs.

(39) FM Conway
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1961
  • The boss: Michael Conway
  • Location: Kent
  • Latest turnover: £247.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 19.55
  • Latest EBITDA: £13.8m

FM Conway delivers infrastructure services to support, develop and maintain the UK’s vital transport networks, built environments and open spaces.

Working on behalf of both communities and businesses, FM Conway has developed a self-delivery model which combines in-house consultancy expertise with front line operations. FM Conway can deliver initial inspection through to design, delivery, refurbishment works and ongoing maintenance.

Despite its 50 years’ experience in the trade, the brand isn’t resting on its laurels and has recently expanded its materials portfolio to include state-of-the-art flooring screeds to service growing demand from the residential sector across London and the South East of England.

The company has formed a partnership with screeds expert Gypsol, a subsidiary of Francis Flower, for the ongoing supply of anhydrite screed binders, which will be used to manufacture FM Conway’s new flowing screed product – Metroflow.

A further sign of growth, the business has recently relocated its head office from Dartford to Sevenoaks. The company is retaining its former head office in Dartford and converting it to provide an expanded logistics hub, alongside the materials recycling and crusher facilities already located at the site.

(40) AM Norris
  • Sector: Plumbing
  • Date founded: 1971
  • The boss: Julie and Alan Norris
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £21m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 19.29
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.1m

AM Norris is a plumbing and heating contractor based in Leicestershire. The company currently works in the new-build, domestic and light-commercial sectors of the industry, and it specialises particularly in renewable energy installations.

Alan Norris became an apprentice plumber aged 15 in 1965, and he started his own business at the age of 21 in 1971. Soon he needed extra labour and took on the business’ first employee who only recently retired in August 2013. In subsequent years, Alan’s wife Julie, his brother Paul and his daughter Donna have all been made directors.

Today the company has over 211 employees, its own warehouse, delivery drivers, dedicated customer care team, invoicing, buying and estimating departments. In addition to this there is also a team of supervisors who are allocated to areas to ensure the smooth running of developments.

The company has been growing fast in recent years, and its previous office premises were extended back in 2014 to accommodate the additional workforce numbers.

The business intends to maintain a constant growth in the hope that, as a larger company, it will be able to become more competitive in the future.

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

(41) Sherwood Stainless Steel
  • Sector: Mechanical engineering
  • Date founded: 1989
  • The boss: Paul Thurston, Terrence Franklin
  • Location: West Midlands
  • Latest turnover: £20.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 19.08
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

Sherwood Stainless Steel and Aluminium has been operating since 1990, offering stainless steel products to industries including automotive, building, domestic appliance, lighting/energy and more.

Its head office, process and distribution centre sits on a combined 75,000 sq ft service centre located on the Science Park in Wolverhampton.

Over the years the business has been committed to keeping up to date with the latest machinery to increase its product range, for example it recently installed a new cam sitter to increase its in-house coil sitting capabilities.

The business has focused on the aluminium extrusion market and expanded its facilities as and when required to keep up with growth. The company now employs over 90 staff with further plans of expansion to its new premises. Sherwood has further diversified its services by introducing welding and the full assembly of aluminium extruded components.

(42) Blue Skies
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1997
  • The boss: George Hutton
  • Location: Northants
  • Latest turnover: £72.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 18.96
  • Latest EBITDA: £5.5m

Blue Skies has been producing fresh-cut fruit and freshly squeezed juice since 1998 when it was founded by Anthony Pile. The company believes in “adding value at the source”, which means the majority of Blue Skies products are cut and packed in the country of origin, rather than shipped overseas and processed elsewhere.

Blue Skies supplies a variety of retailers throughout the world with exceptional quality fresh from harvest fruit. It employs over 4,000 people at its factories in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil and the UK.

Sustainability is important to the company, and to that end it started the Joint Effort Enterprise (JEE) – its model for sustainable business. The JEE is a set of principles formed in 1998 and is primarily made up of three strands: a diverse society, a culture of respect and a drive for profit but not at the expense of the other strands.

In addition to the company’s efforts to remain sustainable, it has also launched the Blue Skies Foundation, which is a charity run in partnership with two of the retailers it supplies in Europe – Waitrose in the UK and Albert Heijn in the Netherlands.

(43) Talley Group
  • Sector: Medical manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1954
  • The boss: Chris Evans
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Latest turnover: £23.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):18.94
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.4m

The Talley Group are specialists in the design and manufacture of medical devices including pressure relieving mattress products, negative pressure wound therapy (NWPT) systems and compression therapy systems including both lymphedema, and DVT prevention.

Its headquarters feature a research and development facility and extensive engineering suite focused on the company’s passion for developing new and innovative technologies within its field of expertise: pressure area care, intermittent compression and negative pressure wound therapy.

Talley is looks to increase its product offering, and most recently launched the FUSION Hybrid and Response to its range of pressure area care support surfaces. These hybrid systems help bridge the gap between high specification foam mattresses offering reactive therapy and electrically powered, active therapy mattress replacement systems.

(44) Banner Contracts
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1993
  • The boss: Michael Banner
  • Location: County Durham
  • Latest turnover: £10.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 18.92
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.2m

Banner Contracts is a family-run contract crushing and screenings specialist based in Yorkshire and operating throughout the mainline UK.

The company employs over 75 full-time employees, eight of whom are based at its head office, and the remainder being site based operators, mechanics and foremen.

The services offered by Banner Contracts include: contract crushing and screening, aggregate recycling and washing operations, earthmoving, load and haul operations, plant hire, conveyor belt repairs and health and safety training.

The company has been identified for the second year running as one of the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain – a report in celebration of the UK’s fasted-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses.

(45) Linecross Group
  • Sector: Plastics manufacturing
  • Date founded: 2003
  • The boss: Stuart Fry
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Latest turnover: £27.0m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 18.85
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

The Linecross Group, made up of Linecross and Linecross Composites, has a team composed of 280 skilled professionals.

The group creates engineered polymer solutions for a diverse range of international industries. For nearly 50 years the company has been developing bespoke engineered thermoplastic and polyurethane (PU) components for all kinds of interior and exterior environments.

In December 2012, it acquired BI Composites, now known as Linecross Composites, enabling it to provide an even greater range of technologies, including injection moulding. It has also recently invested a great deal in its buildings and machinery.

(46) Harvey Shopfitters
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1981
  • The boss: Paul Nolan, Paul Jenkins, Maurice Lodge
  • Location: Avon
  • Latest turnover: £48.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):18.51
  • Latest EBITDA: £1m

Founded in 1981, Harvey Shopfitters provides commercial fit-out and refurbishment services to a broad range of sectors. Its clients span the hospitality, restaurant, pubs and bar, offices, retail, food and clothing industries.

The company now employs more than 100 people and sees an annual turnover in excess of £40m. It ranks among the top 20 retail, leisure and office fit-out contractors operating in the UK.

The firm has headquarters in Bristol, plus a locally-staffed Glasgow branch office that coordinates the increasing number of contracts it has been winning in recent years in Scotland.

This fastest growing private companies member has worked with the likes of M&S Simply Food, The Cooperative, Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers.

(47) Charles Ransford & Son
  • Sector: Timber merchant
  • Date founded: 1974
  • The boss: Alistair Evans
  • Location: Shropshire
  • Latest turnover: £12.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):18.50
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.8m

Charles Ransford & Son is a British sawmill supplying fencing and other timber products into the UK market.

Ransford processes around 70,000 tonnes of logs each year at its facility in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire which is partly powered by an array of over 2000 solar panels installed on its mill and ancillary buildings.

The main species of trees used by Charles Ransford & Son are Douglas fir, larch and spruce, sourced from sustainably managed UK forests. The company produces 42,000m³ per annum of sawn timber.

The company has invested more than £10m in its facility in recent years, so that it now features state-of-the-art German sawing equipment, incorporating 3D laser scanning and optimising technology, combined with sophisticated re-sawing, board recovery and product handling systems.


(48) Kerax
  • Sector: Oil and energy
  • Date founded: 1962
  • The boss: David and Carol Appleton
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Latest turnover: £28.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 18.36
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.6m

Kerax is a manufacturer and supplier of wax for a wide variety of industries – from wax for wax candle makers and surface protection waxes all the way through to large scale production of petroleum jellies for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, industrial and commercial use.

Kerax is the UK’s largest blender of wax, and as such the company has recognised the growing demand for paraffin wax alternatives. In response to this, the company has launched the GMO free Kerax natural wax range, which is responsibly sourced from the US and European countries.

With both the natural wax and the paraffin wax products, Kerax is able to blend to exact specifications, ensuring a bespoke service for each individual client.

(49) Voicevale
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1981
  • The boss: Robert Danon
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £261.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 18.29
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

Voicevale is an international nut, dried fruits and seeds trading company, which manages a supply chain from origin countries to an array of industries around the world.

The busines opened in London in 1981, Paris in 1994, Hamburg in 1999 and Istanbul in 2012. The Beijing office was opened in 1996 as a rep office and became a fully-fledged subsidiary, selling to local industries in 2008.

Voicevale also advises its suppliers on hygiene requirements, quality assurance standards and appropriate technology to achieve the required standards. In addition to this, one of the company’s most important roles is to give impartial advice to its customers on the expected price movements in individual markets.

The group currently moves more than 2,500 containers a year – which works out at about ten containers every working day of the year.

(50) Hydes Brewery
  • Sector: Brewing
  • Date founded: 1863
  • The boss: Chris Hopkins
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Latest turnover: £27.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 19.81
  • Latest EBITDA: £2m

Hydes’ Brewery is a brewer and pub operator based in Salford and has a 150-year history. The brewery is entirely dedicated to the production of cask ales. It has four beers available on a permanent basis and a range of seasonal craft ales.

The beers are distributed through its managed and tenanted houses, free trade customers, wholesalers and pub groups. It operates around 60 pubs, split between managed houses fully operated by the company itself, and tenancies which are let to independent operators. The pubs are located throughout the North West of England and North Wales.

Two of the sites won the Best Managed House category in the Great British Pub Awards in 2011 and 2012. The Joshua Bradley at Gee Cross was the first winner, followed by the John Millington in Cheadie Hulme a year later.

The brewery is always actively seeking to grow its estate through refurbishment and acquisition – to help achieve this, it offers a bounty of £1,000 to anyone who highlights an acquisition opportunity that it goes on to purchase.

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

(51) Mervyn Lambert
  • Sector: Plant hire
  • Date founded: 1987
  • The boss: Mervyn Lambert
  • Location: Suffolk
  • Latest turnover: £26.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 17.60
  • Latest EBITDA: £6m

Mervyn Lambert Plant is a plant hire, plant sales, traffic management and training services provider in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. It has worked with a number of high profile private and public sector clients, including Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Bam Nuttall, Marks and Spencer, Network Rail, Norfolk County Council.

The company is one of the largest providers of traffic management solutions in the UK and have staff trained to take on any kind of work on a live carriageway. It can provide full scheme design, consultancy and planning service incorporating Computer Aided Design layouts, and advise on current legislation to help clients implement traffic schemes.

In addition to these services, the company also offers a training programme of nationally recognised qualifications in traffic management. In a bid to help the planet and go green, Mervyn Lambert Plant ensures its vehicles use recycled plastic to make the vehicle body, which also reduces the vehicle weight and increases the load capacity.

(52) AKA Group
  • Sector: Advertising
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Adam Kenwright
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £78.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 17.11
  • Latest EBITDA: £3.3m

AKA is a global entertainment agency offering creative advertising, brand partnerships, integrated media strategies for planning and buying, ticketing and insights, marketing, content creation and social media management.

The company has been established for more than 20 years and it has worked across numerous industries, including theatre, film, live events, museums, galleries, and visitor attractions. Its aim is to help its clients engage with the widest possible audiences and create a buzz around events.

AKA is responsible for the marketing of several high profile west-end shows and delivered social media coverage for seven clients who were performing in the annual West End Live in Trafalgar Square. During the day the team was live tweeting and posting photos and videos of the events. At West End Live they also launched the first ever Snapchat account for Matilda the Musical, which received 45,000 snap views from over 2,000 viewers.

(53) Sofology
  • Sector: Furniture
  • Date founded: 1976
  • The boss: Jason Tyldesley
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Latest turnover: £142.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 17.01
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.8m

Sofology is a specialist sofa retailer with 33 sofa superstores around the country with up to 100 ranges at each store. Most stores also feature digital visualisation to help with colour and configurations, and fully trained “Sofologists” are on hand to offer help on colour, comfort, combinations and durability.

There are six collections available at Sofology, including classics, vintage, design and comfort, twisted classics, studio and small space and comfort zone. Each collection is designed around a certain look, and each offers an array of colours and fabrics.

Sofology aims to set itself apart from other sofa retailers by offering its lowest prices 365 days a year, rather than buying in to the endless creation of promotions and sales that characterises this market in the UK.

(54) The Feel Good Group
  • Sector: Beauty
  • Date founded: 2006
  • The boss: Adam Mooney
  • Location: County Durham
  • Latest turnover: £12m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 17.00
  • Latest EBITDA: £2m

The Feel Good Group incorporates Blue Tanning and Beauty, The Tanning Shop and SunlessUK, and all three businesses operate in the tanning and beauty sector.

Blue Tanning and Beauty offers sunbeds, rental sunbeds, UV lamps, UV tanning lotions, sunless tanning, and beauty products. SunlessUK sells the technology and equipment required by salons to provide a tanning service to clients.

The Tanning Shop sells tanning equipment and safe tanning solutions. It was established in the 1990s and now has stores across the UK and Ireland. It has experts on hand trained to advise on the best UV or non-UV tanning solutions for each individual customer. The shop offers tanning and skin care products that range from base tan builders to bronzing lotions. The Tanning Shop also offers franchising opportunities.

(55) P. D. Hook Group
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 2004
  • The boss: James Hook
  • Location: Oxfordshire
  • Latest turnover: £169.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 16.70
  • Latest EBITDA: £11.7m

P.D. Hook Hatcheries was founded in the 1950s when the British broiler industry was in its infancy and the group as it is today was incorporated in 2004. Nowadays it has ten hatcheries around the UK giving the company the capacity to hatch over 10,000,000 chicks per week.

In 1993 P.D. Hook Breeders was established to give bio-security and traceability across a farming base. Regionalisation of rearing and breeding has enabled the development of a bio-secure and integrated agricultural operation.

In 2006, Hook2Sisters was established to produce healthy broilers to the highest welfare standards. This business now rears six million chickens for the standard, freedom food, Oakham, free range and organic systems.

(56) Decora Blind Systems
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1979
  • The boss: Stuart Dickson
  • Location: County Antrim
  • Latest turnover: £46.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 16.37
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.8m

Decora Blind Systems was established over 35 years ago by Michael and Lynda Dickson. They started off by selling external awnings to the local Northern Ireland trade, and in 1981 the business invested in machinery that enabled it to make internal blinds. The company later began wholesaling components and fabric to the trade.

The company employs more than 500 people and operates in Northern Ireland and Birmingham. Its manufacturing and distribution facilities provide a worldwide service network.

Decora believes that developing management skills through vocational and tailored workshops is fundamental to keeping the company thriving, and is an Investors in People accredited organisation.

(57) Express Freight
  • Sector: Logistics
  • Date founded: 2010
  • The boss: Andy Baxter
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £18.9m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 16.32
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.2m

Express Freight has been established for over 30 years and prides itself on being a flexible and versatile road operator. It offers container transport, warehousing and distribution services, and operates for all of the major shipping lines, as well as for many smaller agents.

Express Freight operates a modern fleet in excess of 75 vehicles from all the major UK ports, 365 days a year, and is available for ad-hoc deliveries. The fleet offers a variety of trailer combinations to suit its customers’ requirements. All of the company’s vehicles feature GPS tracking so that its customers can monitor important deliveries.

The company has also invested in the latest equipment and continuous ADR driver training so that it is able to carry dangerous goods containers.

(58) Paxton Access
  • Sector: Security
  • Date founded: 1985
  • The boss: Tony Ratcliffe
  • Location: Sussex
  • Latest turnover: £32.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 16.18
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.6m

Paxton designs and manufactures market leading IP access control, door entry and building intelligence systems for smart buildings. Paxton is based in Brighton and manufactures locally, but it exports to more than 60 countries worldwide.

The Paxton team is constantly expanding internationally, and currently there are more than 270 employees located at 12 locations around the world, with offices in the US, France, Germany, South Africa, UAE and Benelux. Currently, around 25,000 buildings are secured globally each year by Paxton.

The company develops solutions for the mid-market, such as education, healthcare, retail, leisure, commercial and public sector. Paxton has previously completed projects for Manchester United, graze, Michelin, Cherbourg Airport, Boucheries Nivernaises, Ostermalm Food Hall, Kingsway Park High School and Foyles.

(59) Kite Packaging
  • Sector:: Packaging
  • Date founded: 2001
  • The boss: Bruce McInnes, Leonard Durham
  • Location: West Midlands
  • Latest turnover: £49.1m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 16.13
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.7m

Kite Packaging was founded in 2001 as an employee-owned business. When the business was less than a year old it started its first graduate programme and apprentice scheme, and it has continued to run both of these programmes up to the present day.

Kite is one of the largest distributors in the UK and has six sites nationwide which are fully integrated into its national and international supply chain. Customers can purchase stock product and basic packaging equipment through the company’s website, and a bespoke service is available to large packaging users and those who need specialist solutions.

For any customers spending more than £30,000 a year on packaging, or placing a minimum order of £3,000, Kite has a dedicated team of key account managers assisted by a team of packaging technologists to provide a more hands-on service.

(60) Future Energy Group
  • Sector: Energy
  • Date founded: 2013
  • The boss: Tim Cantle-Jones
  • Location: West Yorkshire
  • Latest turnover: £17.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 14.91
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.4m

Future Energy Group is a utilities infrastructure provider (UIP). Its products range from the provision of domestic utilities to the installation and maintenance of high pressure gas installations, governors and metering. It is also committed to investing in green technologies, such as biomethane, which offers several advantage over other green energies. For example, it can be stored, unlike green electricity, and is more efficient.

The group was formed in 2008 to benefit from the expertise of JFD Utility Services, Complete Energy Solutions, Energy Services & Solutions and Future Plant Services. In 2011 Future Metering Services was formed and in 2012 Future Energy Group had a restructure and brought together the expertise of Complete Energy Solutions, JFD Utility Services and Energy Services and Solutions to form Future Energy Solutions.

The company takes care of all aspects of utility installations, from concept to completion.

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

(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.

(71) Fishpools
  • Sector: Retail
  • Date founded: 2005
  • The boss: John and Simon Fishpool
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Latest turnover: £29.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):12.28
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.1m

Fishpools is one of the largest furniture stores in the South East of England, with over 200 room sets and a choice of sofas, dining and bedrooms, beds and much more available in store.

The business offers furnishings for all aspects of the home, including the living room, dining room, bedroom, office, flooring and accessories and even the garden.

As well as home furnishings, Fishpools also offers a design service, providing advice in kitting out a home in any style, from period updates to urban cool. The business has specially trained interior designers on hand to help, and can also visit customers’ homes to offer a more bespoke service.

(72) Freightroute
  • Sector: Logistics
  • Date founded: 1989
  • The boss: Gavin Grant
  • Location: Northamptonshire
  • Latest turnover: £28.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 12.04
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.6m

Freightroute is a pallet distribution company founded by the Grant family. It was established in 1989 in Northants, and by 1996 volumes had grown to the point where new depots were needed to develop a UK network.

The company opened facilities in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and Falkirk, Scotland. In 1998 the company began operations in Gloucester, followed shortly after with the addition of a new depot in Newport, Shropshire. In 2002, a new depot was opened in Thetford, enabling the original Northants facility to cater more to London and the Midlands. In 2004, it set up in Wigan, and in 2007 in Durham – at this time it also invested in its fleet to bring it up to 165 vehicles and 110 trailers.

Last year, the company looked to expand by acquiring the assets of H Young Transport Eastleigh depot, the tenth depot in the Freightroute family.


(73) Arrow Business Communications
  • Sector: Telcoms
  • Date founded: 2005
  • The boss: Chris Russel
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £24.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 11.99
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

Arrow Business Communications provides business communication services and has been active in the telecoms industry for 20 years. The company now has a nationwide presence with locations in Godalming, Worcester, Newton-le Willows, Cambridge and Aberdeen.

Its offering includes PBX and hosted telephony systems through to mobile voice, data, IT services, mobile device management and managed services.

Earlier this year, Arrow announced the completion of a strategic investment by Growth Capital Partners (GCP) in order to fast track growth and secure future mergers and acquisitions activity.

Recent strategy has seen Arrow completing seven acquisitions in the last six years which has seen the business nearly treble in size. Going forward, the Arrow team is focused on complementing organic growth with larger acquisition opportunities which will strengthen the hosted, data and IT services portfolio.

(74) RJ McLeod
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1951
  • The boss: Bruce Clark
  • Location: Lanarkshire
  • Latest turnover: £116.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 11.75
  • Latest EBITDA: £5.8m

RJ McLeod is one of Scotland’s largest privately owned civil engineering and building contractors based in Glasgow. The company covers a range of industries, including roads and structures, marine, infrastructure, energy, street-scaping, waste facility and flood prevention.

The businesses’ in-house resources include plant and transport valued in excess of £13m, around 400 employees and its own Quality, Safety, Environmental and Training (QSET) Department.

In addition, the company is a member of the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (Scotland). Other memberships include the Scottish Construction Safety Group, Grampian Occupational Safety and Health Group, the Scottish Plant Owners’ Association, the Scottish Renewables Forum and Highland Renewable Energy Group.

(75) Maurice Lay
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1986
  • The boss: Maurice Lay
  • Location: Avon
  • Latest turnover: £28.6m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 11.23
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.4m

Maurice Lay is a manufacturer and distributor of sinks, taps, appliances, heating, kitchens and bedrooms with over 30 years’ experience. The company’s brands include Caple, Miele, Villeroy & Boch and Shaws.

Caple was established almost two decades ago and offers products across a variety of categories, including furniture, appliances, sinks and taps. Caple aims to suit a wide range of consumer budgets and is always launching new designs, from traditional wooden kitchens through to contemporary high glass doors.

Miele is a German manufacturer of domestic appliances with a focus on quality and longevity.


(76) Nylacast
  • Sector: Plactics
  • Date founded: 1967
  • The boss: Mussa Mahomed
  • Location: West Midlands
  • Latest turnover: £33.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):10.78
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

Nylacast is an expert in engineering polymers, and delivers related products to a wide range of industries. According to the business, it is committed to bridging the engineering skills gap and outlines its succession plan through training and development offered at the Nylacast Academy.

Recently, the business was selected to appear in the 2015/16 edition of The Parliamentary Review. Nylacast featured alongside the chancellor Philip Hammond and a small number of organisations in the Engineering edition. The main aim of The Review is to showcase best practice as a learning tool to the public and private sector.

Nylacast has been recognised with several awards. Most recently it was ranked 146th from the city’s Top 200 companies, amongst brands like Next, Walkers, Caterpillar and 3M. In addition, it recently made the seventh annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league tables, which ranks Britain’s mid-market companies by the fastest-growing international sales.

(77) A.McLay and Company
  • Sector: Communications
  • Date founded: 1902
  • The boss: Kenneth Vaughan, Jonathan Thomas
  • Location: South Glamorgan
  • Latest turnover: £22m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%):10.52
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.4m

McLays are a print, mail and digital communications provider for UK brands across a broad range of business sectors, including financial services, education, healthcare, retail, government and utilities.

Its experience of print and packaging dates back to 1801, where it has its original roots in letterpress book printing and bag manufacturing. The company adapted and progressed into litho printing for large corporate customers in the middle of the 20th century.

The evolution of digital technologies saw the business expand to encompass digital print, IT and data related techniques, and it was recently recognised in the London Stock Exchange’s list of 1,000 companies to inspire Britain 2016. McLays was one of the 25 Welsh companies to be featured.

(78) The Waterside Holiday Group
  • Sector: Leisure
  • Date founded: 1988
  • The boss: Graham Frampton
  • Location: Dorset
  • Latest turnover: £15.5m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 10.44
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

The Waterside Holiday Group has 50 years of experience in providing holiday accommodation and entertainment. It offers a range of holiday lets, as well as holiday lodges and static caravans for sale.

The parks are situated near Weymouth beach and harbour, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the attractions of Dorset and further afield to the Jurassic coast and the Channel Islands. The group operates three parks, namely the Waterside Holiday Park and Spa, the Chesil Vista Holiday Park and Osmington Holiday Park.

Earlier this year the group expanded its accommodation offering to include the Capri and Harmony caravans at the Waterside Holiday Park. In addition, this year saw the launch of the group’s Safari tent project.

(79) Geo Kingsbury
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Date founded: 1956
  • The boss: Richard Kingsbury
  • Location: Surrey
  • Latest turnover: £58.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 10.22
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.8m

Geo Kingsbury supplies the UK’s manufacturing sector with German machine tools. It operates a nationwide service from its facilities in Gosport, Hampshire and has worked with several big household names. Geo Kingsbury’s brands are always adding new machines and capabilities to its offering.

The business offers machinery to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, energy, industrial, medical and transport.

Geo Kingsbury also offers its clients a nationwide network of mobile service engineers that can be onsite with clients within 24 hours.

(80) Arthur McKay
  • Sector: Mechanical contracting
  • Date founded: 1958
  • The boss: Paul McKay
  • Location: Midlothian
  • Latest turnover: £110.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 10.18
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

Arthur McKay is a building support services company, delivering services ranging from mechanical and electrical to networks and FM services. Many of its customers are blue chip national and international organisations.

Arthur McKay, an electrician, established the company in 1958. There have been many changes since then – but the McKay family is involved in the running of the business to this day.

In the future, the company is committed to look for new applications, new technologies and new ways of working that will improve its customers’ experiences.

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

(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.

(91) PP O’Connor
  • Sector: Civil engineering
  • Date founded: 1960
  • The boss: Peter O’Connor
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Latest turnover: £21.4
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.2m

PP O’Connor is a demolitions expert based in Manchester, specialising in civil engineering, bulk earthworks, demolition and deconstruction, asbestos removal, remediation, construction, waste management, quarrying, and emergency response. The company can take on full construction projects from conception to completion.

It works across a range of sectors such as energy, commercial offices and retail, infrastructure such as roads and rail projects, education and healthcare, petrochemical, industrial, sport and leisure, regeneration, residential and frameworks and partnerships.

PP O’Connor has an in-house fleet of modern, high-tech plant and machinery and a directly employed team of industry experts.

(92) St. Austell Brewery
  • Sector: Brewing
  • Date founded: 1851
  • The boss: James Staughton
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Latest turnover: £137.4m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 9
  • Latest EBITDA: £7.4m

St Austell Brewery makes more than just beer – it also has a pub estate spanning the West Country, wholesale distribution of wine, spirits and soft drinks and training courses available. It is also the South West of England’s biggest wholesale supplier to the licensed hospitality sector, delivering beers, lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks to nearly 5,000 bars, restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs in the region.

The brewery was founded in 1851 by Walter Hicks, who began as a maltster and wine merchant – the Walter Hicks Wine business continue to contribute to the group’s offering today.

The company is one of Cornwall’s largest employers with a team of around 1,000 full and part time employees. Around 300 work in brewing, distribution and head office functions, and 700 serve customers in St Austrell Brewery’s 25 managed pubs, hotels and inns. The company also operates 145 tenanted pubs and has a local sourcing policy, whereby wherever possible it will work with trades people, food suppliers, colleges and farms from the surrounding area.

(93) Lymn Funeral Services
  • Sector: Funerals
  • Date founded: 1907
  • The boss: Nigel Lymn Rose
  • Location: Nottinghamshire
  • Latest turnover: £12.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.90
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.4m

The Lymn Funeral Service was founded in 1907 and remains wholly owned by the family to this day. It has headquarters in Sneinton in Nottingham, just a few hundred yards from Goosegate where its founders traded as furniture makers at the turn of the 19th century.

The entry into the undertaking business began in 1905 with the manufacture and supply of coffins. This business proved so successful that by 1915 it had to be moved to a larger premises. Initially the business needed a stables for its horses, but they were eventually replaced with garages for motor vehicles – currently, the same site houses a fleet of silver Rolls-Royce hearses and limousines.

Over the years the business began to take shape, and by the early years of the 21st century there were 22 funeral homes serving the whole of Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire, as well as an in-house family-run floristry division.

(94) Rawle Gammon and Baker
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1850
  • The boss: Colin Worth
  • Location: Devon
  • Latest turnover: £54.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.58
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.1m

RGB Building Supplies started out life as a timber importing business, but has since grown in to one of the biggest family-owned builders’ merchants in the South West of England, employing nearly 300 staff.

The company offers building and timber, kitchen and bathrooms, plumbing and heating and eco and renewables services, and offers an extensive product range.

RGB most recently opened a new branch in Wellington. The new branch will be supplying a range of products, including bathrooms and showers, boilers and radiators, pipes and fittings, cylinders and controls and filters and chemicals.

(95) Border Biscuits
  • Sector: Food production
  • Date founded: 1984
  • The boss: John Cunningham
  • Location: Lanarkshire
  • Latest turnover: £14.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.53
  • Latest EBITDA: £1.5m

In 1984, founder of Border Biscuits, John Cunningham, bought a factory in Lanark to make biscuits. They proved popular and soon the company had move to a larger premises to keep up with demand. The new Lanarkshire factory is still home to the business to this day, although it continues to focus on growth. The factory produces over 300,000 packets of biscuits a week.

In 2015, Border Dark Chocolate Gingers were voted the nation’s favourite. The company has produced more than 20m of them, using 155 tonnes of chocolate. Border is planning to use this to its advantage and boost its presence in 500 Asda stores throughout the UK with the introduction of its new Dark Chocolate Gingers and Orange.

This year, Border Biscuitiers have been working on new recipes, including a new cookies range. To celebrate the range, which includes a white chocolate and strawberry cookie, Borders donated a strawberry patch to Lanark Community Development Trust.

(96) Precision Printing
  • Sector: Printing
  • Date founded: 1965
  • The boss: Gary Peeling
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £16.8
  • CAGR: 8.42
  • Latest EBITDA: £1,330,153

Precision Printing offers a range of digital printing services designed to help its customers stand out from the crowd at industry events with its displays and exhibitions.

The company specialises in the production of large format and digital printing, and its product range includes posters, banners, window decals, point of sale displays, personalised wallpaper, exhibition and display stands, hoardings, stationery, marketing materials, direct mail, specialist books, photo products and boxes.

Precision Printing was established in 1966 and is currently based over two locations – East London, which employs 130 staff, and Sunderland, which employs 26 staff.

(97) The Bath Priory
  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Date founded: 1994
  • The boss: Andrew and Christina Brownsford
  • Location: Avon
  • Latest turnover: £18.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.40
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.3m

The Bath Priory is a Georgian house that has been converted into a hotel, a short distance from Bath city centre, and another hospitality entry in our fastest growing private companies ranking.

Initially built in 1835 as a private residence, the house was converted in 1969 and was the first hotel bought by the Brownsford family in 1994. It offers 33 guest rooms, including 26 bedrooms and seven suites, each decorated with period furniture and contemporary bathrooms.

The Bath Priory holds the city’s only Michelin Star, which serves modern British cuisine with a focus on local produce. The gardens cover three acres and feature a kitchen garden, meadow and lawns. It is tended by Jane Moore, a Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal winner.

(98) Wernick Group
  • Sector: Construction
  • Date founded: 1934
  • The boss: Andy King
  • Location: Essex
  • Latest turnover: £96.7m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.24
  • Latest EBITDA: £19m

The Wernick Group dates back to 1934, and from its humble beginnings as a poultry crates maker has grown into a large independent manufacturer and hirer of portable and modular accommodation.

The last decade has seen vigorous expansion through a combination of acquisitions and the company’s own organic growth.

The group’s product range covers nearly all types of modular buildings and portable accommodation. Its clients come from a variety of sectors, including construction, education, healthcare, commercial and events.

(99) AB Hotels
  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Date founded: 1979
  • The boss: Rafael Bejerano
  • Location: London
  • Latest turnover: £26.3m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.07
  • Latest EBITDA: £2.5m

AB Hotels is a collection of three family-owned hotels in London and the South East of England. The hotels offer a range of restaurants, spas, professional meeting and event packages and wedding packages.

The hotels include The Arch London, close to Marble Arch. It spans seven Georgian townhouses and two mews homes, decorated in a contemporary style. It also has Sopwell House, a former Georgian country residence of Lord Mountbatten, located in St Albans, Hertfordshire

The group has a strict green policy, and are constantly looking at ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste and source greener products. It currently has some simple initiatives in place – for example, it is committed to planting at least one tree a year at the hotel grounds.

(100) Notcutts Group
  • Sector: Retail
  • Date founded: 1897
  • The boss: Caroline Notcutt
  • Location: Suffolk
  • Latest turnover: £67.8m
  • Three-year compound growth rate (%): 8.02
  • Latest EBITDA: 5.4m

Our final fastest growing private companies entry is Notcutts, a family-owned retailer of plants and sheds, outdoor furniture and indoor accessories and other related gardening items.

The Notcutts Group began life as a nursery and has changed a lot over the years. Initially business would come from country estates, but in the decades following the Second World War new houses had smaller and smaller gardens. The nursery adapted, first becoming more mail order orientated and eventually evolving into the retail outlets it owns today. The business recently overhauled its garden centre in Tunbridge Wells.

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