Sunday Times 2012 Fast Track 100

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Interesting presentation on where entrepreneurs are making new money in the UK today.

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Sunday Times 2012 Fast Track 100

  1. 1. Research Report 2012 Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 1Britains private companies withthe fastest-growing salesIn association with
  2. 2. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 i CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 Top 10 Fast Track 100 companies 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2 Overview 2 Key themes 2 KEY STATISTICS 3 Sales breakdown 3 Staff and job creation 3 Profitability 4 Profit margins 4 Ownership 5 Funding and buyouts 5 Sector breakdown 6 Industry breakdown 6 Regional breakdown 7 New companies 7 Sustained growth 7 KEY THEMES & SELECTED COMPANY PROFILES 8 Serial entrepreneurs 8 Renewable energy companies 9 Manufacturing 10 International operations 11 Online vs high street retailers 12 Profitability 13 Well-known brands 14 2012 FAST TRACK 100 LEAGUE TABLE 15 METHODOLOGY 19 Qualification criteria 19 Research approach 19 Disclaimers 19 ABOUT OUR SPONSORS 20 BACKGROUND 22 About the authors 22 About Fast Track 23 Contact details 23© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  3. 3. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 1 INTRODUCTION This is the 16th year of The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s one hundred private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years. The league table has additional sponsorship support from Barclays and RSM Tenon. The Fast Track 100 identifies growth companies across all sectors except technology, which is covered in our sister league table, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100.Home shopping jewellery retailer The Genuine GemstoneCompany tops this year’s league table with an average salesgrowth of 245% p.a., partly as a result of acquisition. Over the past 16 years, the Fast Track 100 has featured many companies that have gone on to greater success. Past stars range from ARM which is now worth £10bn, to innocent drinks which was sold to Coca Cola for £160m. This years household names include Jamie’s Italian (No 7), Ella’s Kitchen (No 52), Hunter Boot (No 47), and Wiggle (No 90). The Fast Track 100 has become the definitive barometer of privately-owned growth companies in the UK. Over the past three years, this year’s 100 companies showed average sales growth of 89% a year, slightly up compared to the 2011 league table. Average profit margins were 8.6% and more than half of the companies improved their margins over the last three years. Together the companies employ 14,000 staff, and have added more than 10,500 jobs over the last three years. These figures show the impressive contribution of the Fast Track 100 companies in the current economic climate, and are outlined in more detail in the following pages.Top 10 Fast Track 100 companies Sales Sales Operating profitRank Rank growth 2011/12 2011/122012 2011 Company Activity HQ location FYE % pa§ £000 £000 Staff Founded 1 Genuine Gemstone Home shopping jewellery retailer Worcestershire Mar 12 245.36 54,471 3,529 265 2008 2 Spabreaks.com Spa booking services Central London Dec 11 198.31 6,805 337 30 2008 3 4 Mobile Account Solutions Mobile phone provider Hertfordshire Mar 12 198.01 61,037 1,951 14 2006 4 11 AES International Financial services provider West London Apr 12 187.46 11,210 682 36 2007 5 Solfex Renewable energy products supplier Preston Oct 11 178.80 15,528 1,681 15 2006 6 Drake & Morgan Bar & restaurant operator Central London Mar 12 171.50 16,400 1,398 267 2008 7 Jamies Italian Restaurant operator Central London Dec 11 168.10 72,022 7,916 1,725 2008 8 Gaia Wind Wind turbine manufacturer Glasgow Dec 11 167.85 6,693 62 27 2006 9 Stormfront Apple products reseller Exeter Sep 11 166.57 *22,687 469 105 2008 10 Lenstore.co.uk Online contact lens retailer Guernsey Jan 12 159.15 †5,114 †118 28 2008§ compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 * annualised figure † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  4. 4. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 2 Growth in sales EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Number of companies in each range of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of sales over latest 3 years Overview • The Fast Track 100 companies increased their sales by an >200% 1 average of 89% a year over three years (compared to 87% on 151%–200% 11 last year’s table), from a total of £504m to £2.7bn • Combined operating profits of the 100 companies were 101%–150% 13 £206m in 2011/12, and more than half of the companies (59) 76%–100% 21 increased their operating profit margins over the last three years <=75% 54 • 82 companies are majority-owned by an entrepreneur and/or founders, while 11 are controlled by private equity or venture capital firms and 11 have them as minority investors • Services (51 companies) and retail (29) are the dominant sectors on the league table • The majority of the companies are based in London (30) and the Southeast (24) Key themes Characteristics of an average Serial entrepreneurs: There are a dozen serial entrepreneurs Fast Track 100 company that either run or back some of the companies featured on this Sales year’s league table [page 8] Growth 2008/09 – 2011/12 89% pa Renewable energy companies: Five renewable-energy related Sales in 2008/09 £5m companies feature, partly thanks to the government’s ‘feed-in- Sales in 2011/12 £27.2m tariff’ subsidy [page 9] Profits Manufacturing companies: 15 companies are engaged in Operating profit in 2011/12 £2.2m manufacturing, and a further five outsource manufacturing to Margin 8.6% third parties [page 10] International operations: Half of the companies either operate Staff internationally, or are planning to expand overseas in the near Typical number of staff in 2011/12 142 future [page 11] Typical increase in staff over three years 59% pa Online vs. high street retailers: 29 companies are retailers. Company characteristics Some sell from the more traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ high- street stores and concessions whilst ten others have thrived Region Greater London (30) through innovative online stores [page 12] Sector Services (51) Founded 2002 Profitability: Combined operating profits of the 100 companies are £206m in 2011/2012, with a healthy average profit margin Majority ownership Entrepreneur and/or of 8.6% [page 13] founders (82) Well-known brands: The league table features a number of household names, some of which are making their third or fourth consecutive appearances on the Fast Track 100 [page 14] © 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  5. 5. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 3 Sales breakdown KEY STATISTICS Number of companies in each sales range Sales breakdown >£50m 16 • The top ranked company, home shopping jewellery retailer The Genuine Gemstone Company, saw sales growth of 245% £21m–£50m 26 a year, from £1.3m in 2009 to £54.5m in 2012 £10m–£20m 31 • The 100th ranked company, online bike retailer Chain Reaction <£10m 27 Cycles based in Northern Ireland, appears on the Fast Track 100 for a second year. Its sales grew 50% a year, from £40.7m in 2008 to £136.4m in 2011 • Outdoor equipment retailer GO Outdoors (No 94) reported the highest sales on the table at £144m. Recruitment consultancy Companies with the biggest sales Assured Recruitment (No 55) had the lowest sales at £5m Rank Company 2011/12 • Almost three quarters (73) of the companies had sales of more Activity sales than £10m in their latest year (2011/12); and 16 companies GO Outdoors reported sales in excess of £50m, including restaurant operator 94 £144m Outdoor equipment retailer Côte Restaurants (No 36), footwear designer FitFlop (No 63), 100 Chain Reaction Cycles £136m and online sports goods retailer Wiggle (No 90) Online bike retailer Wiggle 90 £119m Online sports goods retailer Staff and job creation FitFlop 63 £96m Footwear designer • The 100 companies employed 14,000 staff in 2011/12, which Genuine Solutions accounts for average revenues per employee of approximately 17 £85m Mobile accessories distributor £192,000 • Some 10,500 jobs have been added by the 100 companies over the past three years, which means that their combined workforce has more than tripled during that period. Number of employees However, some of these jobs are a result of acquisitions. For example, The Genuine Gemstone Company (No 1) more than Number of companies in each staff range quadrupled its staff number to 202 between 2010 and 2011 when it acquired Gems TV >500 5 • The biggest employers on the league table were restaurant 151–500 16 operator Jamie’s Italian (No 7) with 1,725 staff, and outdoor 101–150 8 equipment retailer GO Outdoors (No 94) with 1,461 staff across 41 outlets 51–100 21 • 17 companies employed fewer than 25 staff, including mixer 26–50 33 drinks manufacturer Fever-Tree (No 48) with 11 staff and sales <=25 17 of £12m, and media planning & buying agency MJ Media (No 28) with 19 staff and sales of £15m • Mobile Account Solutions (No 3) recorded the highest sales per employee. It sells smartphones and other mobile devices to organisations for use by their employees and clients. It had 14 staff and sales of £61m in 2012, resulting in average revenues per employee of £4.4m © 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  6. 6. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 410 companies with the biggest profits ProfitabilityRank Company Latest 2011/12 2011/12 OP • Fast Track 100 companies are required to make an operating Activity FYE sales £000 OP £000 margin profit in their most recent financial period Hunter Boot 47 Dec 11 77,959 22,075 28.32% Wellington boot retailer • Combined operating profits of the 100 companies were £206m 90 Wiggle Jan 12 118,600 12,646 10.66% in 2011/12, almost seven times of the £32m recorded by these Online sports goods retailer companies three years ago Joseph Joseph 49 May 12 31,558 10,663 33.79% Household goods maker • Wellington boot retailer Hunter Boot (No 47) achieved the Chain Reaction Cycles 100 Online bike retailer Dec 11 136,448 10,129 7.42% highest operating profits of £22m on sales of £80m in 2011 Ramsdens 66 Dec 11 51,270 8,543 16.66% Pawnbroker and jeweller Côte Restaurants 36 Jul 12 49,344 8,136 16.49% Restaurant operator Jamies Italian 7 Dec 11 72,022 7,916 10.99% Restaurant operator Marlin Financial Group 86 Dec 11 31,663 6,799 21.47% Debt purchaser Save Britain Money 26 Mar 12 25,786 6,258 24.27% Money saving products provider Amber Taverns 89 Jan 12 25,424 4,005 15.75% Pub operator10 companies with the biggest profit margins Company Latest 2011/12 2011/12 OPRank Activity FYE sales £000 OP £000 margin The Gym (No 13) has moved from making losses when it started in 2008, to operating profits of GRITIT £1.4m, with margins of 11% in 2011. 97 Sep 11 7,735 2,727 35.26% Winter gritting specialist Joseph Joseph 49 May 12 31,558 10,663 33.79% Household goods maker Hunter Boot 47 Dec 11 77,959 22,075 28.32% Wellington boot retailer Profit margins Fever-Tree 48 Dec 11 12,038 3,241 26.92% • Winter gritting specialist GRITIT (No 97) achieved the highest Mixer drinks manufacturer Chromogenex Technologies profit margin of 35%. It had operating profits of £2.7m on 99 Dec 11 6,932 1,777 25.63% Medical & surgical equipment manufacturer sales of £7.8m in 2011 Make It Cheaper 73 Mar 11 8,766 2,219 25.32% Business cost saving service • Companies this year reported average operating profit Save Britain Money 26 Money saving products provider Mar 12 25,786 6,258 24.27% margins of 8.6% in 2011/12, compared to a quarter of these Hallam Medical companies making losses three years ago 30 Apr 12 5,568 1,304 23.42% Medical recruitment consultancy Marlin Financial Group • More than half of the companies (59) increased their operating 86 Dec 11 31,663 6,799 21.47% Debt purchaser profit margins over the last three years. These include 82 Veetee Foods Dec 11 13,665 2,773 20.30% companies moving from making losses to profits, such as gym Packaged food manufacturer operator The Gym (No 13), which improved margins to 11% on sales of £13.5m in 2011 • Only 11 companies reported operating profits of less than £300,000 © 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  7. 7. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 5Majority ownership OwnershipNumber of companies by majority ownership type • More than four fifths (82) of the companies are majority-Business angels 1 owned by an entrepreneur and/or founders, such as TheFamily 3 Genuine Gemstone Company (No 1), which was set up and isManagement 3 still run and owned by Steve Bennett, his wife Sarah, and hisPE and/or VC 11 brother John • 11 are majority-owned by private equity or venture capital firms, including pub operator Amber Taverns (No 89), which underwent a secondary buyout in 2010, a further 11 have some PE or VC backing • Three are majority-owned by families, including Chain ReactionEntrepreneurand/or founder 82 Cycles (No 100), owned by founders George and Janice Watson and their son Chris, who is managing director • Three companies are majority-owned by the management, including bulk mail service provider Secured Mail (No 24) Funding and buyouts • 22 companies are financed by venture capital, private equity or business angels. These include energy efficiency consultancy Anesco (No 19), backed by Scottish Equity Partners and specialist cleantech investor Zouk Ventures; and advertising, TV and film producer Pulse Films (No 38), whose angel investors include the film producer Sharon Harel (wife of Sir Ronald Cohen, the venture capitalist) • Only three of the companies raised venture capital or private equity in the last year, including Wiggle (No 90), which underwent a £180m secondary buyout backed by BridgepointVietnamese restaurant chain Pho (No 84) founders Juliette in December 2011; and Vietnamese restaurant chain Phoand Stephen Wall secured a £5.2m investment from Isis Equity (No 84), which secured a £5.2m investment from Isis EquityPartners in July. Partners in July 2012© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  8. 8. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 6Sector breakdown Sector breakdownNumber of companies by sector • The two largest sectors are services (51 companies) and retailConstruction 1 (29 companies)Wholesale 18 • Services (51 companies) encompasses a wide range of industries from spa booking services provided by Spabreaks.com (No 2) to money saving products offered by Save Britain Money (No 26). The companies also include recruiters, which make up 13% of the league tableManufacturing(inc. outsourced) 20 • Retailers (29 companies) include Apple products reseller Stormfront (No 9) and rare and used book retailer World of Books (No 22). Ten of these operate predominantly onlineRetail 29 • Manufactures (20 companies), including those that outsourceServices 51 to third parties, are represented by household goods makerNote: where companies are deemed to operate in more Joseph Joseph (No 49) and Sprue Aegis (No 92), which makesthan one sector, a second sector is chosen. In total, 19 smoke and carbon-monoxide alarmscompanies operate in two sectors. Each sector is givenan equal weighting in the above analysis. • Wholesalers (18 companies) include generator supplier Dieselec Thistle (No 56) and clothing wholesaler Penfield (No 46) • Construction (1 company) is represented by specialist refurbishment contractor ME Construction (No 93)Industry breakdown Industry breakdown • Consumer goods (21 companies) include footwear designer Consumer goods 21 FitFlop (No 63) and pet food producer MPM Products (No 75). League table companies in this industry represent combined sales of £960m and employ 3,800 people • The recruitment industry provides 13 companies, half Recruitment 13 of which are specialists in sectors such as IT, medical and transport. Examples include IT recruitment consultancy Synergize Consulting (No 53), and medical recruitment Food and drink 12 consultancy Hallam Medical (No 30). These represent combined sales of £150m and employ 400 people Business services 10 • Food and drink (12 companies) are represented by six pub and/or restaurant operators, including Amber Taverns (No 89) and Côte Restaurants (No 36). The remainder are mostly food Building related 8 and drink manufacturers, such as Ella’s Kitchen (No 52) and Specialty Powders (No 65). These represent combined sales of Leisure 8 £290m and employ 3,600 people • The business services industry provides a further 10 Finance 8 companies, including payroll services provider Safeguard World International (No 23) and childcare voucher administrator Media 6 Fideliti (No 40). These represent combined sales of £420m and Engineering 3 employ 2,800 people Computers & electronics 3 Automotive 3 Other 3 Healthcare 2© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  9. 9. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 7Regional breakdown of HQ in UK Regional breakdown • Greater London is home to the highest proportion of Fast Track Scotland 100 companies and is the base for almost a third (30) of the 6 companies. The next highest is the Southeast with 24 Northwest • The regions with the lowest representations are Channel Islands, Northeast Wales and Northern Ireland 10 5 • There are two companies from Wales: Save Britain Money (No 26) and medical & surgical equipment manufacturer Northern Ireland 1 Chromogenex Technologies (No 99) Midlands • There is only one company from Northern Ireland, online bike 14 retailer Chain Reaction Cycles (No 100), and there are no companies from the East of England Wales 2 New companies • There are 59 new entrants on the league table, including wind Southwest turbine manufacturer Gaia Wind (No 8), brewery BrewDog Greater London (No 29), and childrens travel products designer Trunki (No 42) Channel Islands 30 6 Southeast 24 2 Sustained growth • 25 companies appear on the league table for their second consecutive year, eight make their third consecutive appearance and four have appeared for four years in a row. Sprue Aegis (No 92) appears for a fifth consecutive time • An additional three companies make re-entries, having appeared on a Fast Track 100 league table before 2011 The table below shows the 13 companies that have appeared for at least three years in a row RankCompanies appearing for at least three consecutive years Latest Company Activity 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 sales £m Staysure.co.uk Over-fifties insurance provider 9.6 28 15 8 Joseph Joseph Household goods maker †31.6 49 34 44 48 Ellas Kitchen Baby food producer †41.2 52 25 14 9 Your Golf Travel.com Golf travel retailer 35.1 59 26 6 15 Global Personals Online dating services provider 18.9 68 28 13 MPM Products Pet food producer 11.3 75 40 32 International Applications Industrial & consumer goods distributor †22.8 77 54 27 Marlin Financial Group Debt purchaser 31.7 86 96 55 UK Flooring Direct Online flooring retailer 13.8 87 99 24 Amber Taverns Pub operator 25.4 89 47 63 57 Wiggle Online sports goods retailer 118.6 90 85 91 Sprue Aegis Safety products manufacturer 33.3 92 65 68 79 67 GO Outdoors Outdoor equipment retailer 143.7 94 80 86† draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  10. 10. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 8 KEY THEMES & SELECTED COMPANY PROFILES On the following pages we profile examples of companies that demonstrate some of the key themes from this year’s league table. Serial entrepreneurs There are a dozen serial entrepreneurs that either run or back some of the companies featured on this year’s league table. In addition to the few profiled below, other examples includeFitFlop (No 63) founder Marcia Kilgore previously the founders of Spabreaks (No 2), Ross Marshall and Andrewlaunched Bliss Spa in the US in the 1990s and sold it for£15m in 2004. Harding, who also co-founded Your Golf Travel (No 59). Genuine Gemstone Co-founder Steve Bennett previously founded and ran 1 Jungle.com, which he sold in 2000 for £37m Home shopping jewellery retailer CAGR§ 245% Steve Bennett and wife Sarah, a former pop singer, launched Sales 2012 £54.5m Gems TV, a home shopping channel dedicated to coloured Sales 2009 £1.3m gemstone jewellery in 2004. The pair brought in a Thai-based business partner to help source gems and produce jewellery, OP £3.5m but a disagreement between the business partners prompted Staff 2012 265 the Bennetts’ departure in 2006 to set up other ventures Founded 2008 including the Genuine Gemstone Company. Steve bought Location Worcestershire Gems TV back in 2010 for £3m. The group now produces and broadcasts three jewellery shopping channels, Gems TV in the UK and Germany, and Rocks TV in the US. Côte Restaurants Majority shareholder Richard Caring also owns The Ivy, Le Caprice, 36 Soho House and others, and is reportedly considering the sale of Côte Restaurant operator CAGR§ 88% Each week 63,000 diners sit down at a venue run by Côte Sales 2012 £49.3m Restaurants, whose menu is filled with French brasserie- Sales 2009 £7.4m style dishes. The company now has 35 restaurants, mainly around London and the home counties, but also in Cardiff, OP £8.1m Birmingham and Bristol. Five former Strada Restaurants Staff 2012 1,124 founders started the company in 2007 in Wimbledon, south Founded 2006 London. It is now managed by joint managing directors Harald Location Central London Samuelsson, 44, and Alex Scrimgeour, 41, two former senior managers from Strada. FitFlop Founder Marcia Kilgore launched Bliss Spa in the US and sold it for £19m in 63 1999, before starting Soap Glory, another beauty business, in the UK in 2006 Footwear designer CAGR§ 67% This firm develops shoes that focus on delivering the best in Sales 2011 £95.6m biomechanics in a wide variety of styles. The London company Sales 2008 £20.6m* was founded in 2007 and the firm now trades in 52 countries. It has also recently launched e-commerce websites in Britain, OP £3.3m the USA and the EU. The brand’s celebrity fans include the Staff 2011 158 television star Oprah Winfrey, actress Jessica Biel and model Founded 2007 Heidi Klum. Sales for the Brand Slam group, owner of FitFlop Location Central London and Soap Glory, rose to £95.6m in 2011. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  11. 11. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 9 Renewable energy companies Five renewable-energy related companies feature, partly thanks to the government’s ‘feed-in-tariff’ (FIT) subsidy. However, future performances of these companies are likely to be affected by the reduced FIT subsidy levels, and introduction in 2013, of the government’s Green Deal subsidy.Anesco (No 19) was spun out of a division of Scottishand Southern Energy in 2010, and provides energyefficiency and carbon reduction services. Gaia Wind Manufactured and installed 350 wind turbines for farmers and small 8 businesses with land to spare, like breweries and golf courses, in 2012 Wind turbine manufacturer CAGR§ 168% Before Johnnie Andringa, 49, and his business partners Sales 2011 £6.7m took over Gaia Wind in 2006, the company was based in Sales 2008 £348,000 Denmark and made only a few turbines each year. Now it manufactures and installs 350 wind turbines a year. Thanks to OP £62,000 the government’s feed-in tariff subsidy, the income generated Staff 2011 27 by the turbines usually covers the cost of installation in Founded 2006 five to seven years. Gaia Wind is now looking to boost its Location Glasgow international sales and has already received orders from the island of Tonga. Alternergy Sales exceeded £45m in 2012 as demand for solar panels has 15 increased Solar energy products distributor CAGR§ 137% Managing director Rajiv Bhatia, 50, founded this business Sales 2012 £45.9m in 2006 to sell solar panels and related components from Sales 2009 £3.5m international manufacturers such as SunTech and REC to businesses, mainly in Britain. Sales exceeded £45m in 2012 as OP £1.8m demand for solar panels rose. The growth in demand is largely Staff 2012 20 due to the government’s feed-in tariff, launched in April Founded 2006 2010, which pays subsidies to those who install solar panels. Location West London However, subsidy levels were halved in April and Alternergy expects its sales growth to slow. Anesco Provides energy efficiency and carbon reduction services, and has 19 Energy efficiency consultancy benefited from the demand for cleaner and greener energy CAGR§ 127% Anesco’s customers are homeowners, businesses and local Sales 2012 £21.4m† authorities, and its services include funding, designing, Sales 2009 £1.8m installing and maintaining a range of renewable technologies. Adrian Pike, 45, and Tim Payne, 49, spun the Reading OP £952,000 company out of a division of Scottish and Southern Energy Staff 2012 54 in 2010. Scottish Equity Partners has a 40% stake, and the Founded 2008 specialist clean-tech investor, Zouk Ventures, also provided Location Reading undisclosed funding for a 40% stake. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  12. 12. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 10 Manufacturing companies Fifteen companies are engaged in manufacturing, examples include Automotive Trim Developments (No 60), which derives the majority of its sales from making leather seats and trim for high-end automotive brands like Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. In addition, five companies outsource manufacturing of their products to third parties, and these include Trunki (No 42). At least 13 companies manufacture some of their products in the UK, including Sofa.com (No 95) and Specialty Powders (No 65),Childrens travel products designer Trunki (No 42) moved which makes soups, gravies and hot chocolate.outsourced manufacturing of some of its products fromChina to Britain earlier this year. BrewDog 29 Opened a new production facility near Aberdeen in October Brewery CAGR§ 96% Brew Dog says it is the largest Scottish independent brewery, Sales 2011 £5.9m with a core range of seven craft beers that can be bought in Sales 2008 £789,000 large grocery stores and online. The company also runs seven beer bars, and four more are in the works. Founded in 2007 OP £467,000 by James Watt, 30, and Martin Dickie, 30, Brew Dog has Staff 2011 61 raised two rounds of funding with its online Equity for Punks Founded 2007 scheme and now has more than 7,000 shareholders. Location Aberdeenshire Trunki Moved outsourced manufacturing of some of its products 42 from China to Britain earlier this year Childrens travel products designer CAGR§ 78% Trunki’s colourful ride-on suitcases for children became famous Sales 2011 £6.4m* on the BBC show Dragons’ Den in 2006. Founder Rob Law, 35, Sales 2008 £1.1m didn’t get any investment in the Den but used the exposure to give his Bristol business a boost. Sales increased as the company OP £1m* expanded its range, and its products are now sold in shops such Staff 2011 21 as John Lewis, Selfridges, Argos, Boots and Halfords, as well as Founded 2006 online through Amazon and Trunki’s own website. The company Location Bristol sells to more than 90 countries, with exports accounting for 30% of sales. 92 Sprue Aegis Manufactures smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms and sells its Safety products manufacturer products in Tesco and BQ CAGR§ 53% This Coventry manufacturer of smoke and carbon-monoxide Sales 2011 £33.3m alarms sells its products in Tesco and BQ and also supplies Sales 2008 £9.4m Britain’s fire and rescue services. In 2010 an American competitor, BRK Brands, which now has a 29.9% shareholding OP £3.5m in Sprue, granted the company the rights to all of BRK’s Staff 2011 73 business in Europe. Led by chairman Graham Whitworth, 59, Founded 2000 and co-founder Nick Rutter, 40, the company has thrived as Location Coventry legal requirements to fit smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms have become stricter. Last month Sprue Aegis won a contract to supply British Gas with bespoke carbon-monoxide alarms. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  13. 13. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 11 International operations Half of the companies either operate internationally, or are planning to expand overseas in the near future. Examples, in addition to the ones profiled below, include footwear designer FitFlop (No 63), which sells its products in more than 40 countries; and mixer drinks manufacturer Fever-Tree (No 48), which ships worldwide and has recently launched in Colombia, Japan, and Germany.Household goods maker Joseph Joseph (No 49) wereset up by twins, Antony and Richard Joseph ten years agoand now its products are sold in 83 countries. Safeguard World International Offers services, mainly payroll processing, in 99 countries in 23 Europe, Asia, North America and South America Payroll services provider CAGR§ 106% Safeguard World International was started in 2007 when Sales 2011 £8.5m founder Bjorn Reynolds, 37, bought the loss-making global Sales 2008 £971,000 payroll division of Safeguard World. Sales, which represent net fee income, grew as it opened offices in America in 2009, OP £117,000 India in 2011 and Mexico in 2012, and it is eyeing growth Staff 2011 97 in Brazil. Its customers are companies that operate in many Founded 2007 countries and they include Google, eBay, Amazon, Warner Location Cheshire Brothers and Fedex. 49 Joseph Joseph Generates 70% of sales overseas, and its products are sold in Household goods maker 83 countries CAGR§ 74% The 38-year-old twins, Antony and Richard Joseph, started Sales 2012 £31.6m† with a single glass chopping board when they founded their Sales 2009 £6m company in 2003. Today that product remains a bestseller for the firm and it is still made in a factory in the West Midlands. OP £10.7m† Joseph Joseph’s range has expanded greatly and now has Staff 2012 65 360 items, counting all colour variations. They are sold in 83 Founded 2003 countries. The company now expects to grow most rapidly in Location Central London South America, China, India and the US. Chain Reaction Cycles Is the worlds largest online bike store, generating more than 100 Online bike retailer 60% of sales overseas and delivering to 100 countries worldwide CAGR§ 50% Having started life in 1985 as a bike shop in a Northern Irish Sales 2011 £136.4m village, Chain Reaction Cycles now offers a range of 90,000 Sales 2009 £40.7m products and says it is the largest online bike store in the world. Managing director Chris Watson, 38, who sold his first OP £10.1m bike at the age of 14, is the son of the founders, George and Staff 2011 365 Janice Watson. Growth has been helped by a broad product Founded 1985 range, speedy delivery, referrals and sponsorship of racing Location County Antrim teams. The company delivers to 100 countries and opened its 10,000 sq ft flagship shop in Belfast in August 2011. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  14. 14. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 12 Online vs. high street retailers A quarter of the league table companies are retailers. Some sell from the more traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ high-street stores and concessions, such as Apple products reseller Stormfront (No 9). Others (at least ten companies) operate predominantly online, such as beauty products retailer feelunique.com (No 43), and contact lens retailer Lenstore.co.uk (No 10). We showcase some examples of web-based retailers that haveBetter Bathrooms (No 34) sells 3,000 product lines thrived through innovative online stores.online and offers next-day delivery. World of Books Sells used books to 4m customers a year using online platforms 22 including eBay and Amazon Rare used book retailer CAGR§ 107% Charity shops with unsold books go to the West Sussex firm Sales 2012 £19.3m† World of Books. The company buys unsold books in bulk, Sales 2009 £2.2m saving charity shops the disposal costs, and sells them on websites including eBay, Amazon and its own. It identifies OP £1.6m buyers with technology developed in-house and when it Staff 2012 256 cannot find them online, it sells in bulk to countries such as Founded 2008 India and China that want cheap English language books. Location West Sussex The business was started in 2008 by chairman Ken Blair, 55, and managing director Stephen Boobyer, 50, after they were approached by four enthusiasts. Better Bathrooms 33 Runs an online store as well as three showrooms Bathroom products and tiles retailer CAGR§ 92% Consumers, plumbers and contractors can buy more than Sales 2012 £22.5m*† 3,000 products online at Better Bathrooms and have them Sales 2009 £3.2m dispatched next day. The Glazebury-based retailer, founded in 2003, ships up to 500 orders a day and also has three OP £3.1m showrooms where customers can collect and shop in person. Staff 2012 77 It says it can lower its prices by 20% to 30% because it makes Founded 2003 many of its own products. Founder Colin Stevens, 33, started Location Cheshire his first business, selling golf equipment, from his parents’ house at 21. Wiggle Started out of a bike shop in 1999 and now sells products 90 online, shipping to 70 countries worldwide Online sports goods retailer CAGR§ 53% This company began as an independent bike shop in Sales 2012 £118.6m Portsmouth but, after its success at selling bikes and Sales 2009 £33.2m accessories online, became Wiggle.co.uk in 1999. The firm has expanded its range to include running, swimming and OP £12.6m other sports equipment, and delivers its goods to more than Staff 2012 211 70 countries. In December 2011, Isis Equity Partners, which Founded 1999 invested £12m in Wiggle in 2006, sold its stake to Bridgepoint Location Portsmouth in a deal that valued the company at £180m. It is now led by chief executive Humphrey Cobbold, 48, with former Asda chief executive Andy Bond, 47, as chairman. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  15. 15. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 13 Profitability Combined operating profits of this year’s league table companies are £206m. 51 companies report operating profits of more than £1m. Of these, four have operating profits of £10m or greater, including online bike retailer Chain Reaction Cycles (No 100). The average profit margin is a healthy 8.6%, and more than half of the companies (59) have increased their profit margins over the last three years.Hunter Boot (No 47) has the highest profits on theleague table of £22.1m in 2011. Drake Morgan Moved from making losses when it started five years ago, to 6 making margins of 9% on sales of £16.4m in 2012 Bar restaurant operator CAGR§ 172% This bar and restaurant operator runs five venues in London Sales 2012 £16.4m and aims to open at least two more next year. The chain was Sales 2009 £820,000 started by managing director Jillian MacLean, 48, in July 2008 with the Refinery in Southwark. It has since opened four venues OP £1.4m in the City and Canary Wharf, which attract financial services Staff 2012 267 employees on weeknights and a more diverse group — including Founded 2008 families and groups of friends — at weekends. The business Location Central London has been funded with £3m from the Imbiba Partnership, an investment firm that focuses on the leisure industry. 47 Hunter Boot Has the highest operating profits on the league table of Wellington boot retailer £22.1m in 2011 CAGR§ 75% The upmarket bootmaker Hunter was founded more than Sales 2011 £78m 150 years ago but has had a rocky time more recently. It Sales 2008 £14.6m* was bought out of administration in 2006 and, since then, new management has streamlined operations and invested OP £22.1m in colourful designs and a product range that includes bags, Staff 2011 73 shoes and outerwear. The company holds two royal warrants, Founded 1856 and half of its sales are overseas, in the Far East and America. Location Edinburgh In January, Searchlight Capital Partners bought a majority stake for an undisclosed sum to fund further expansion. James Seuss is joining as chief executive this month. GRITIT Has the highest profit margin on the league table of 35% on 97 sales of £7.7m in 2011 Winter gritting specialist CAGR§ 51% Former marketing director Jason Petsch, 39, and former Sales 2011 £7.7m landscape gardener Alastair Kight, 48, started GRITIT in 2004 Sales 2008 £2.2m believing that they had a better way of dealing with the challenges posed to businesses by winter weather. Since then, OP £2.7m this Uxbridge company has provided gritting services and Staff 2011 135 winter risk management to clients such as Thames Water and Founded 2004 DHL. During the warmer months of the year, GRITIT does risk Location Greater London assessments for clients and implements policies that reduce the damage snow and ice can cause to a client’s earnings and reputation. In 2011, the company expanded into Northern Ireland and is now looking to extend its services to the Continent and America. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  16. 16. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 14 Well-known brands Household names that feature on the league table include Ella’s Kitchen (No 52) and Joseph Joseph (No 49) for the fourth time; Wiggle (No 90) and GO Outdoors (No 94) for the third time; and Côte Restaurants (No 36) and Chain Reaction Cycles (No 100) for the second time. The league table also features new entrants such as Jamie’s Italian (No 7), Trunki (No 42), and Hunter Boot (No 47).Jamies Italian (No 7) boasts 30 locations in the UK andan additional five abroad, including in Dubai, Dublin andSydney. Jamie’s Italian Founder Jamie Oliver is arguably the nation’s favourite cook 7 with his recipe books regularly the No 1 Christmas bestseller Restaurant operator CAGR§ 168% In 2008, the cookery show chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver, Sales 2011 £72m 37, brought his love of Italian food to the high street with a Sales 2008 £3.7m chain of restaurants aptly named Jamie’s Italian. The company now has 30 sites in the UK and 5 abroad, including ones in OP £7.9m Dublin, Dubai and Sydney. The chain bills itself as an affordable, Staff 2011 1,725 family-friendly operation that makes its own pasta every Founded 2008 morning and sources ingredients both locally and from Italy. This Location Central London year it launched a deli concept at its Bath store after customers wanted to buy its olives, mozzarella and antipasti boards. Ellas Kitchen 52 Says that someone eats one of its products every second Baby food producer CAGR§ 71% This Henley-based company passed a milestone in September, Sales 2012 £41.2m† registering the sale of its 200 millionth “tiny tummy touch point” Sales 2009 £8.3m* since it was founded by Paul Lindley, 46, in 2006. Each point is a portion of its organic, preservative and additive-free baby OP £3.6m and toddler products, which range from pureed fruit to biscuits Staff 2012 43 and yoghurts and appear on supermarket shelves in distinct Founded 2006 packaging. The company’s target is now 1bn points by December Location Henley 2016 from its 12 existing markets, which include Scandinavia and America, and potential new markets such as Brazil. GO Outdoors Operates 41 outlets nationwide, after opening 20 stores in the 94 last two years Outdoor equipment retailer CAGR§ 52% Go Outdoors is a one-stop shop where you can buy Sales 2012 £143.7m equipment for hiking, mountaineering, camping and other Sales 2009 £41.2m outdoor pursuits. It appeals to professional enthusiasts as well as hobbyists and is led by chief executive John Graham, 50, OP £2.3m a keen climber, and president Paul Caplan, 57. The company Staff 2012 1,461 has continued to expand, opening 10 new stores last year in Founded 1998 addition to the 10 opened the year before. In April 2011 the Location Sheffield private equity firm 3i took a minority stake in a £28m deal. § compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  17. 17. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 152012 FAST TRACK 100 LEAGUE TABLE Sales Sales SalesRank Rank growth 2011/12 2008/092012 2011 Company Activity HQ location FYE % pa§ £000 £000 Staff Founded 1 Genuine Gemstone Home shopping jewellery retailer Worcestershire Mar 12 245.36 54,471 1,322 265 2008 2 Spabreaks.com Spa booking services Central London Dec 11 198.31 6,805 256 30 2008 3 4 Mobile Account Solutions Mobile phone provider Hertfordshire Mar 12 198.01 61,037 2,306 14 2006 4 11 AES International Financial services provider West London Apr 12 187.46 11,210 472 36 2007 5 Solfex Renewable energy products supplier Preston Oct 11 178.80 15,528 717 15 2006 6 Drake Morgan Bar restaurant operator Central London Mar 12 171.50 16,400 820 267 2008 7 Jamies Italian Restaurant operator Central London Dec 11 168.10 72,022 3,737 1,725 2008 8 Gaia Wind Wind turbine manufacturer Glasgow Dec 11 167.85 6,693 348 27 2006 9 Stormfront Apple products reseller Exeter Sep 11 166.57 *22,687 *1,198 105 2008 10 Lenstore.co.uk Online contact lens retailer Guernsey Jan 12 159.15 †5,114 *294 28 2008 11 Activ8 Distribution Mobile accessories distributor Hertfordshire Jul 12 151.21 †8,319 525 30 2000 12 TGC Renewables Renewable energy provider Bristol Aug 12 150.37 †7,704 491 31 2006 13 The Gym Gym operator Guildford Dec 11 139.80 13,464 *976 41 2008 14 ITH Pharma Pharmaceuticals supplier West London Mar 12 137.50 12,054 900 85 2008 15 Alternergy Solar energy products distributor West London Jul 12 136.91 45,938 3,455 20 2006 16 EThames Graduate School Higher education institution Central London Jul 11 134.81 11,942 922 184 2004 17 69 Genuine Solutions Mobile accessories distributor Surrey Jan 12 132.98 85,314 6,746 59 2004 18 Capture Retail marketing agency Central London Sep 12 130.25 †14,500 1,188 27 2008 19 Anesco Energy efficiency consultancy Reading Mar 12 127.22 †21,422 1,826 54 2008 20 21 First Utility Energy supplier Warwick Dec 11 112.01 76,098 7,986 179 2003 21 ProMedical Personnel Recruitment consultancy Essex Oct 11 107.41 8,899 *997 22 2008 22 World of Books Rare used book retailer West Sussex Oct 12 107.30 †19,293 2,166 256 2008 23 Safeguard World International Payroll services provider Cheshire Dec 11 105.80 8,467 971 97 2007 24 2 Secured Mail Bulk mail service provider Warrington Jul 11 101.56 47,929 5,853 87 2006 25 ConSol Partners IT recruitment consultancy Central London Dec 11 101.15 6,348 780 31 2008§ compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  18. 18. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 162012 FAST TRACK 100 LEAGUE TABLE Sales Sales SalesRank Rank growth 2011/12 2008/092012 2011 Company Activity HQ location FYE % pa§ £000 £000 Staff Founded 26 Save Britain Money Money saving products provider Swansea Mar 12 99.53 †25,786 3,246 605 2005 27 MJ Media Media planning buying agency Central London Dec 11 99.47 15,103 1,903 19 1997 28 15 Staysure.co.uk Over-fifties insurance provider Northampton Dec 11 96.93 9,563 *1,252 200 2004 29 BrewDog Brewery Aberdeenshire Dec 11 95.72 5,919 789 61 2007 30 Hallam Medical Medical recruitment consultancy Sheffield Apr 12 94.33 †5,568 759 20 2007 31 22 Liquid Friday Payroll services provider Portsmouth Jul 12 93.95 †46,001 6,305 1,463 2006 32 NWM Solutions Payroll services provider Bournemouth Mar 12 93.63 54,821 7,551 203 2007 33 Better Bathrooms Bathroom products and tiles retailer Cheshire Mar 12 92.46 †*22,468 3,152 77 2003 34 Travel FX Foreign exchange broker Northwest London Dec-11 91.86 35,342 5,004 11 2008 35 5 Top Cashback Cashback website operator Staffordshire Jan 12 89.81 21,186 3,098 47 2005 36 7 Côte Restaurants Restaurant operator Central London Jul 12 88.39 49,344 7,381 1,124 2006 37 BathEmpire.com Online bathroom retailer Coventry Dec 11 88.27 8,667 1,299 55 2007 38 Pulse Films Advertising, TV, and film producer Central London Oct 11 86.45 14,108 2,177 32 2005 39 The Specialist Works Media advertising agency Central London Dec 11 81.89 26,072 4,333 30 2002 40 35 Fideliti Childcare voucher administrator Warrington Mar 12 79.21 66,429 11,542 28 2005 41 Redeem Consumer electronics recycler Falkirk Mar 12 78.23 †34,000 6,006 151 1991 42 Trunki Childrens travel products designer Bristol Dec 11 78.15 *6,410 1,134 21 2006 43 24 feelunique.com Online beauty products retailer Jersey Mar 12 77.97 26,736 4,743 121 2005 44 Lawrence Harvey Recruitment consultancy Central London Mar 12 77.60 11,007 *1,965 45 2002 45 13 Be Wiser Insurance Insurance broker Andover May 12 76.96 17,364 3,134 241 2007 46 Penfield Clothing wholesaler retailer Central London Dec 11 76.31 7,877 *1,437 17 1975 47 Hunter Boot Wellington boot retailer Edinburgh Dec 11 74.83 77,959 *14,590 73 1856 48 31 Fever-Tree Mixer drinks manufacturer Southwest London Dec 11 73.89 12,038 2,290 11 2004 49 34 Joseph Joseph Household goods maker Central London May 12 73.62 †31,558 6,030 65 2003 50 51 Oliver James Associates Recruitment consultancy Central London Dec 11 73.46 36,461 6,986 74 2002§ compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk
  19. 19. Fast Track 100 Research Report 2012 172012 FAST TRACK 100 LEAGUE TABLE Sales Sales SalesRank Rank growth 2011/12 2008/092012 2011 Company Activity HQ location FYE % pa§ £000 £000 Staff Founded 51 93 Transglobal Fuels Wholesale fuel supplier West Yorkshire Mar 12 73.07 †33,790 6,518 11 2007 52 25 Ellas Kitchen Baby food producer Henley Jun 12 70.89 †41,220 *8,260 43 2006 53 Synergize Consulting IT recruitment consultancy West Sussex Sep 11 70.35 13,311 2,693 11 2002 54 Barrhead Travel Travel agency Barrhead, nr Glasgow Dec 11 69.72 42,192 *8,631 441 1975 55 Assured Recruitment Recruitment consultancy Staffordshire Jan 12 68.73 †5,068 1,055 28 2006 56 Dieselec Thistle Generator supplier installer Glasgow Jun 12 68.61 19,968 4,166 49 2004 57 Champions Brand management agency Loughborough Mar 12 68.32 12,179 2,554 36 2003 58 Country Attire Clothing retailer Derbyshire Aug 11 68.12 5,711 1,202 24 2006 59 26 Your Golf Travel.com Golf travel retailer Central London Dec 11 67.95 35,124 7,415 66 2005 60 Automotive Trim Developments Leather seating trim manufacturer Coventry Jan 12 67.27 7,037 1,504 85 2000 61 55 Climate Energy Energy efficiency consultancy Essex Jul 11 67.12 60,681 13,001 207 2005 62 High Finance Insurance recruitment consultancy Central London Oct 11 67.03 12,214 2,621 40 2002 63 FitFlop Footwear designer Central London Dec 11 66.93 95,630 *20,560 158 2007 64 Opus Recruitment Solutions IT recruitment consultancy Bristol Dec 11 66.00 †5,946 *1,300 30 2008 65 89 Specialty Powders Food manufacturer Oxford Dec 11 65.64 21,496 4,730 47 1995 66 Ramsdens Pawnbroker and jeweller Middlesbrough Dec 11 65.16 51,270 11,380 324 1987 67 62 Cartridge Save Computer consumables reseller Stockport Dec 11 64.76 †12,378 2,768 33 2003 68 28 Global Personals Online dating services provider Windsor Aug 11 64.06 18,894 4,279 94 2003 69 Maverick Marketing advertising agency Central London Jun 12 63.85 †12,805 2,911 55 2002 70 Blue Group Industrial machinery distributor Warrington Jan 12 63.72 9,617 *2,192 26 2004 71 Roc Search IT recruitment consultancy Reading Dec 11 63.52 8,240 1,885 30 2007 72 RB AH Pub restaurant operator Guildford Dec 11 62.68 5,301 *1,231 105 2008 73 39 Make It Cheaper Business cost saving service Central London Mar 11 62.16 8,766 2,056 67 2006 74 57 OneE Tax Tax planning specialist Bolton Dec 11 61.94 23,274 5,481 33 2006 75 40 MPM Products Pet food producer Cheshire Dec 11 61.39 11,300 2,688 34 2003§ compound annual growth rate between 2008/09 and 2011/12 † draft, audit exempt or accounts not filed at Companies House * annualised figure© 2012 Fast Track 100 www.fasttrack.co.uk

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