A fitness clothing brand, an online tile retailer and a lingerie business are among the 16 Midlands firms which have been ranked in a prestigious list of fastest-growing companies.
Published this weekend, the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.
And this year, 16 companies which are headquartered in the Midlands have won places on the table – including 10 new entrants.
In total, their sales have grown by an average 70 per cent a year over three years to a total of £723 million and together they employ more than 5,100 people. The figures largely relate to financial periods before Covid-19 struck.
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The 16 Midlands companies are:
Safe Fence (West Bromwich)
Three-year annual sales growth: 182%
The security fence supplier provided fencing to NHS Nightingale hospitals and test centres during the pandemic. It employs 11 staff and posted sales of £8.9 million to April 2020.
Lounge Underwear (Solihull)
Three-year annual sales growth: 162%
The online lingerie retailer says it has recruited 30 new employees since April as sales have tripled. The company employs 44 staff and recorded sales of £13.8 million to March 2020.
Rank: 23 (down from 10)
Three-year annual sales growth: 86%
The fitness clothing brand sold a 21 per cent stake to US investor General Atlantic in August, valuing it at more than £1bn. It employs 455 staff and recorded sales of £260.7 million to July 2020.
MNB Precision (Coventry)
Three-year annual sales growth: 76%
The 140-strong company produced parts for the development of Dyson’s ventilators to help treat coronavirus patients. Sales to February 2020 were recorded at £19.8 million.
Sixty Stores (Stratford-upon-Avon)
Three-year annual sales growth: 69%
The online retailer cleared one year’s stock from its warehouse during the first three months of lockdown. It currently employs 22 staff and recorded sales of £23.3 million to August 2020.
Apollo Home Healthcare (Wolverhampton)
Three-year annual sales growth: 65%
The homecare provider provided home care for NHS patients at the start of the pandemic, freeing up hospital beds. The company – which employs 160 staff – reported sales of £17.7 million to December 2019.
Vanilla Underground (Tamworth)
Three-year annual sales growth: 61%
The online merchandise retailer opened its warehouse on weekends to cope with increased demand between April and June. To December 2019, the company – which employs 24 staff – recorded sales of £7.8 milion.
Tile Mountain (Stoke-on-Trent)
Three-year annual sales growth: 58%
The online tile retailer opened its third showroom in Birmingham in June. The 240-strong business recorded sales of £34.4 million to December 2019.
Task Consumer Products (Wolverhampton)
Rank: 54 (up from 64)
Three-year-annual sales growth: 57%
The toilet paper manufacturer had manufacturing capacity and stock available to support clients during the panic-buying of toilet paper. The company – which employs 90 people – recorded sales of £52.7 million to December 2019.
Red Industries (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Rank: 57 (up from 73)
Three-year annual sales growth: 57%
The waste management business, which employs 240 people, launched a service to deep-clean industrial premises and help dispose of PPE at the height of the pandemic. It recorded sales of £41.7 million to December 2019.
Rank: 69 (down from 39)
Three-year annual sales growth: 47%
The sports nutrition brand provided energy bars to frontline and NHS staff during the first national lockdown. The company employs 60 staff and recorded sales of £52.5 million to December 2019.
EU Automation (Stafford)
Three-year annual sales growth: 45%
The machine parts supplier has hired 32 staff in the UK, Chicago and Frankfurt since June – despite the pandemic. The company employs 237 staff and recorded sales of £66.1 million for the year end March 2020.
Rank: 87 (down from 32)
Three-year annual sales growth: 42%
The home lift manufacturer launched a nationwide recruitment drive and moved into a new headquarters in July, despite the pandemic. The company employs 200 staff recorded sales of £27.5 million to December 2019.
Bambino Mio (Northampton)
Three-year annual sales growth: 43%
The reusable nappy supplier experienced a 400% increase in UK online sales of its reusable nappies in April. The company, which employs 56 staff, recorded sales for the year end November 2019 of £9.3 million.
James and James Fulfilment (Northampton)
Three-year annual sales growth: 41%
The e-commerce fulfilment provider hired 90 full-time staff this year, and it’s new fulfilment centre went live in November. The firm, which now employs 104 staff, recorded sales of £17.2 million for the year end December 2019.
Aspens Services (Hindlip)
Rank: 98 (down from 88)
Three-year annual sales growth: 39%
The contract caterer supplied meals to vulnerable families when the first national lockdown forced schools to close. The company employs 3,100 staff and recorded sales of £69.5 million to April 2020.
Nationally, this year’s Fast Track 100 achieved, on average, sales growth of 73% a year over three years to a combined total of £4.4bn and together employ more than 32,00 staff, having more than tripled their combined workforce over the period.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group, which has supported Fast Track 100 for all 24 years, said: “While we are living in extremely uncertain and challenging times, there is one thing I am certain of: entrepreneurs are the dreamers, the doers, and the innovators that have the power to have a positive impact on society.
“There are so many inspiring examples of this on the Fast Track 100 league table showing this is just as true, if not more so, in 2020 as it ever has been.”