The East Midlands’ fastest growing companies see hiring new people and addressing the skills gap as their top priorities in 2016, according to new research from financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.
The firm’s survey found that more than 60% of the region’s top performing businesses consider investment in education and addressing the skills shortage as the factors that could most improve the East Midlands’ economy in the future.
Its findings also revealed that nearly half (49%) of businesses plan to hire new people in the next 12-months in order to support their forecasted growth and levels of business activity.
Furthermore, the majority of businesses taking part in the survey are positive about business conditions across the region, as Phil Sayers, Partner at Grant Thornton’s East Midlands regional office in Leicester explains:
“The findings of the survey are both encouraging and interesting, in particular that, even despite the IMF (International Monetary Fund) recently downgrading Britain’s growth forecast for 2016, and the impending EU Referendum, 76% of business leaders that we asked feel that current business conditions are the same or better than 12 months ago.
“Alongside hiring people and job creation being voted as important to support expected growth, a third of the businesses taking part in the survey also said that innovation and change through new products or markets would be the way in which their business will sustain growth this year.”
Grant Thornton conducted the survey at the launch of its East Midlands Top 200 Report which was attended by representatives from the 200 businesses identified by the report as being the region’s fastest growing and best performing on the basis of profit growth.
Commenting on the 2016 Report, Phil Sayers added: “The 200 companies who have made it onto the 2016 list have excelled in beating the competition in one of the highest growth parts of one of the fastest growing developed economies in the world. These companies truly showcase the strength of the local economy and are a great snapshot of what the East Midlands has to offer.
“The Report found that the East Midlands’ best performing businesses have grown profits by an average of nearly 32% per year, have recorded a 12% average turnover growth per annum, collectively have an operating profit of £736 million, employ over 63,000 people, and turnover a total of £12.8 billion, representing a growth of 58.3% in the last three years.”
Lincolnshire’s Chris Eley Produce Limited, took the number one place for profit growth on the 2016 Report.
Grant Thornton has its East Midlands office in Leicester, where it has approximately 160 staff providing business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.