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Fast-growth Nottinghamshire businesses generate £1.8bn in turnover

The top 50 fastest growing companies in Nottinghamshire have contributed £1.8bn in turnover in the latest financial year, reporting a 29% increase on the previous year according to new research published today by accountancy and advisory firm BDO LLP.

BDO’s Nottinghamshire Growth Barometer, which measures turnover growth of mid-sized firms in the county and identifies the fastest growing 50; revealed transport and logistics firm Baxter Freight topped the list after increasing turnover by a whopping 306% in the last year.

Other fast-growth firms on the list include technology firms Esendex and Microlise as well as The Mellors Group Limited which is one of only two leisure and hospitality firms on the list.

BDO’s report on the region also includes analysis of employment and sector growth, revealing the top 50 companies in Nottinghamshire have generated a total of 12,368 in the latest financial year, recording an average growth of 40% in number of jobs from the previous year. However, business leaders from the top 50 say that the recruitment of skills is a challenge, particularly in the technology and media sector.

Nottinghamshire stays true to its history of being known for its diverse range of sectors, as BDO’s report shows growth across eight different sectors in the region. In particular, technology and media businesses, which make up 12% of the top 50 list, have experienced an average increase of 66% in turnover growth and 62% for average employment growth in the last year.

Geoff Love, CEO of Esendex, a developer of business messaging solutions, who recorded an average turnover growth of 104% in the last year, stressed the importance of support for fast-growing mid-tier businesses and the benefits that outside investment can bring:

“One of the biggest contributing factors to the fast growth of Esendex has been our private equity backing. It hasn’t just been the finance that has enabled us to do this but also the strategic vision and mind-set of our investors.

“As a fast-growth mid-market business we are at times overlooked, there can be too much focus on the start-up businesses when in reality there should be a lot more focus on those businesses scaling up as we are creating the most revenue and the most jobs.”

Microlise, another technology firm based in the region, reported an average turnover growth of 74% in the last year. Chief Financial Officer Bill Wynn identified recruitment of technical skills as a key challenge:

“Our location in Nottingham is useful with regards to being central and having great transport links to our customers throughout the UK. We are now used by 13 of the 15 leading supermarket chains in the UK and our solution is used in 193 countries and translated into 24 different languages.

“We are faced with challenges here though, the number one being recruitment of technical skills. We often struggle to find the right candidates and there are a number of larger companies in the region looking for similar talent.”

BDO’s Nottinghamshire Growth Barometer also includes interviews with Chris Pook of the D2N2 Growth Hub and Steven Chapman, Head of the Ingenuity Lab at the University of Nottingham. Both these organisations are continuing to support local business growth and encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.

Rick Wilson, partner and lead of BDO’s Nottinghamshire team commented:

“It has been really positive to see growth from so many sectors within the county, particularly in the technology and media sector in which there are so many great companies in our region. However, as the market saturates it is vital to ensure the talent pool is readily available.

“Nottingham and the rest of the county are seeing fantastic innovation from the business community. BDO is calling for more support of high-growth mid-sized businesses in a ‘New Economy’ and believe the government should be placing more emphasis and resource on building regional powerhouses to ensure we are aligned with growth in London and the South East. Our interviews and research prove that there is a still progress to be made.”

To download the full Nottinghamshire Growth Barometer please visit our dedicated page – https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/insights/locations/nottingham/the-nottinghamshire-growth-barometer-2017