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

(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.

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