Black Country growth businesses create over £2bn in revenues

–     The top 50 fast growth businesses in the region generate £2.09bn

–       Average turnover grew by 70% over three year period

–       Top companies employ more than 23,000 people, a 38% increase in three years

The top 50 fastest growing companies in the Black Country have contributed £2.09bn in revenues to the region in the last financial year, reporting a 70% increase on the previous year according to the Black Country Growth Barometer published today by accountancy and advisory firm BDO LLP.

The second annual Black Country Barometer measures turnover growth of the region’s mid-sized firms and identifies the fastest growing 50. The report also includes analysis of employment growth, fast growth sectors and districts within the region.

At the top of the list is transport and logistics provider Palman Limited (Pallet Track) which has experienced a 144.36% growth in turnover bringing their latest year’s turnover to over £81m. Other notable firms on the list include construction firm AMG Group and health food retailers JG Foods, both of which feature in the report itself discussing their growth stories.

Richard Green, MD of AMG Group discussed their vision for the future and the importance of being innovators in their sector

“We like to mix old-fashioned values with innovative new ideas and our desire to constantly stay ahead of the game is extremely important. It is our goal over the next few years to be a £50m-turnover business and we believe this is achievable due to the people within our business and the fact we all love what we do.”

With regards to sectors, perhaps unsurprisingly, manufacturing remains a key industry for the Black Country, representing 28% of the top 50 companies. However, the real estate and construction sector also makes up 28% of the list, which creates an optimistic outlook in a region where the regeneration of buildings and the supply of new business premises and houses are of paramount importance.

An example of this trend can be seen in the University of Wolverhampton’s development of the Springfield Brewery site that will house specialist construction and manufacturing education facilities in order to create the next generation of recruits.

In terms of turnover growth, the sectors leading the way are professional and financial services (102% average growth) and retail and wholesale (78%).

Employment growth has also been significant for the top 50 businesses. With an average increase of 38%, the fast growth businesses now employ over 23,000 people.

Topping the list is the retail and wholesale sector, which has reported a 50% average increase in employment. There are 10 retail companies in the top 50, which now employ 2,361.

The utilities sector had the second highest growth rate (41%).

The manufacturing sector’s growth rate comes in third (38% increase). The 14 manufacturing companies in the top 50 employ 2,529 people.

Leaders of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and the University of Wolverhampton, part of the West Midlands Combined  Universities, also contributed to the report and conversations included themes such as the skills gap, regeneration and remediation of business premises and the implications of Brexit.

The Midlands Engine was another key discussion point, with business leaders from across the board seemingly agreeing that it is a great opportunity to collaborate and share one powerful voice, but that it is early stages and key roles still need to be agreed.

Corin Crane CEO of the Black Country Chamber spoke of how the region’s businesses can do more to help their growth.

“There is so much support available for businesses, it can often be a confusing landscape but they need to ask for help and support from local organisations to support their growth and development,” said Crane.

“We aren’t always the best at shouting about how great we are in the Black Country, and we want to help celebrate the great things happening in our area.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton Professor Ian Oakes spoke of the emphasis the university places on relationships with business:

“We are in an interesting position compared with many other universities. Approximately 75% of our students come from within a 25-mile radius of the University. This means our grads seek employment in the local area, which makes the links we have with local businesses increasingly important.

A key priority is educating our students to gain employment in the businesses in our area and grow the local economy.  We are heavily involved in the regeneration of the Black Country.”

Author of the report Nicola Cooper, a senior manager at BDO, is proud to see the progress the region is making

“Having done this report for a second year it is fantastic to once again identify the fast-growth businesses and learn more about their success. There are a number of new entrants to our top 50 and in a wide range of sectors, which is a positive sign of a dynamic and competitive region. There are still challenges for Black Country businesses, however they are resilient and ambitious and there are looking forward to the many exciting developments ahead.”