The fast-growing Scottish companies to inspire Britain
Nearly 60 top Scottish businesses feature on a prestigious list of 1,000 companies to inspire Britain – with a key role in helping rebuild the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Scotland was in the top three areas to show the biggest increase in number of companies from the 2019 report – at 58 – according to the latest edition of the list published by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).
It has identified the UK’s "most dynamic and fastest-growing” small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and said they show the regional and sector diversity as well as strong innovation.
Altogether, the 1,000 companies have recorded an annual average revenue growth rate of 41.2 per cent and generated more than 42,000 jobs in the two years to December 2019.
More than a quarter come from across Scotland and north England, and firms from north of the Border singled out in the featured companies spotlight comprise telecoms firm Commsworld and Smart Metering Systems, known as SMS.
Ricky Nicol, chief executive of Commsworld, told The Scotsman that the firm is thrilled with the accolade. “Our inclusion as a featured company recognises Commsworld’s amazing journey from Edinburgh-based disruptor to one of the UK’s biggest telecommunications network providers, offering cloud, security and voice solutions, and managing the largest privately-funded optical core network in the country.”
He added that it delivers “innovative and highly-complex” digital infrastructures and unified communications to major organisations across the UK, spurring “significant” revenue growth. “We now look forward to continuing this upward growth trajectory and opening up new and exciting avenues of opportunity for Commsworld in the months and years to come.”
Alan Foy, chief executive of Glasgow-based SMS, said being recognised on the list is “testament to the energy, commitment and sheer hard work of all at SMS”. He added: “We are wholly focused on delivering the smart metering program whilst also accelerating the adoption of carbon reduction assets, which are critical to achieving the UK government’s net-zero carbon ambition.”
And as he noted, the included firms’ achievements come amid the unprecedented challenges of 2020. LSEG chief executive David Schwimmer said: “This report highlights the vital role of SMEs in driving economic growth, leading innovation and providing jobs across the UK.”
He also stated that it is more important than ever to highlight such stories of resilience and entrepreneurship. “The success of UK SMEs is crucial as we rebuild a post Covid-19 economy.”
One Scottish firm on the list that was classed as an essential business after the outbreak of coronavirus due to its role in the food and drink supply chain is Inverclyde-based McLaren Packaging.
It was established by James McLaren, the father of the current directors, to supply corrugated cases to the whisky industry, and has grown to turn over more than £30 million, with 230-plus staff and five sites in central Scotland.
MD Donald McLaren said the recognition by LSEG comes after his firm marked its 40th anniversary last year with record turnover and sizeable investment in new capital equipment.
He added that over the last five years, 100 per cent of profits have been reinvested in the business to future-proof it, and it is “here for the long term with our focus fixed firmly on further growth and reinvestment”.
Also stressing its bullish outlook is Ideagen, the Aim-quoted software group with a major presence in East Kilbride. Chief executive Ben Dorks said the firm is “proud and honoured” to be included on LSEG’s list, and has been able to adapt and continue to grow. "Our inclusion in this report is a fantastic recognition of our hard work and an endorsement of our belief that our business is well-positioned to face the future with confidence.”
The report said the full list of Scottish firms and their respective sectors is as follows:
A C Whyte & Co – engineering and construction
A&D Logistics – logistics
Adarma – professional services
Agritrac Exports – agriculture
Algo – engineering and construction
Astrak – industry services
Bennett's Group – automotive
BrewDog – food and beverages
Bruce Taverns – hospitality
Campion Homes – engineering and construction
Ceramic Import and Manufacturing Company – wholesale
City Technical Services – energy
Commsworld – telecommunications
Community Windpower – energy
Cyclops Electronics – wholesale
D. R. Collin (Fish) – food and beverages
Dem-Master – engineering and construction
Edwin James Holdings – engineering and construction
Emergency One – manufacturing
Empteezy – manufacturing
Exceed Energy – energy
Exterity – technology
Gordan & Macphail – food and beverages
Greig Engineering – engineering and construction
Henbury – retail
Ian Macleod – food and beverages
Innis & Gunn – food and beverages
J & S Montgomery – agriculture
Kiltane Retail – retail
Lindemann Healthcare – healthcare
Loch Duart – food and beverages
Lorimer Care Homes – healthcare
McLaren Packaging – packaging
Morris Leslie – engineering and construction
Motive Offshore Group – manufacturing
MV Commercial – transport services
NWH Group – waste management
Odfjell Drilling Shetland – oil and gas
Oilfast – logistics
RAM Tubulars Scotland – engineering and construction
Richard Austin Alloys – wholesale
Richmond Group – financial services
Scotia Double Glazing – manufacturing
Scott Group – industry services
Smart Metering Systems – energy
Startline Motor Finance – automotive services
Sulaire – food and beverages
Summit Platforms – engineering and construction
T P Niven – transport services
Tarak International (Quiz Clothing) – retail
The Artisanal Spirits Company – food and beverages
The Signature Pub Group – hospitality
Thomas Sherriff & Co – agriculture
Tough Construction – engineering and construction
Weir & Mcquiston (Scotland) – engineering and construction
West Coast Motors – transport services
WGM Engineering – engineering and construction
Windhoist – engineering and construction
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