Surrey and Sussex’s fast-growth businesses revealed

Kevin Cook, partner at BDO LLP

Surrey and Sussex’s fastest growing companies have continued to forge ahead, reporting combined sales growth of 22% in the last year to £280m, according to new research by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.

In BDO’s Best in Business report, the top 20 companies in each county (with a turnover between £5m – £10m) have been recognised as the ‘mid-sized companies of tomorrow’ which, following fast growth, are expected to soon break through the £10m turnover bracket.

They are ranked by compound annual total sales (CAGR) growth over three accounting periods. Average sales per company stand at £7m (compared to £5.7m last year), representing sales per employee of £145k.

The best performing company across both counties was Sussex-based architectural metalwork specialist Chatsworth Forge Group, which reported CAGR of 415% over the three periods. Mast Interiors Limited, the drywall experts based in Surrey, follows with an equally impressive CAGR of 414%.

The 40 firms across both counties have considerably outperformed their peer group; overall sales for the 1184 companies identified having fallen by 8% in the past year. However, these businesses remain key to the local economy, employing more than 47,500 people.

Geographically, the fastest growing companies are dispersed across the counties but Crowborough, Brighton, Croydon, Cranleigh, Gatwick, Guildford and Sutton have the highest densities.

Kevin Cook, partner at BDO LLP, said: “In 2016 we started our Best in Business campaign to champion the successes of the counties high growth, entrepreneurial businesses and to open up a conversation on what was needed to enable them to thrive in the future. Our latest research demonstrates how these businesses are continuing to excel and make a significant contribution to their local economies.

“2017 though has and will remain an interesting year against the backdrop of Brexit and the snap General Election but one we think will give these businesses great opportunities of which they are well placed to exploit.”