Twice as many Yorkshire businesses are growing revenues and profits as last year

By | March 25, 2013

Guest blog by Andreas Chronopoulos, a PhD student in human resource management at Bradford University School of Management and was the researcher for the Yorkshire Post’s awards for Yorkshire Fastest 50 2013, sponsored by Ward Hadaway

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

I was delighted to be asked to carry out the research for the Yorkshire Post to identify the region’s 50 fastest growing businesses of 2013 – our thanks to Ward Hadaway for funding this.

Here I explain the criteria for the research and the key themes.  As this was the second year, I was also able to look at comparisons with the 2012 research.

The criteria for a ‘fast growing Yorkshire business’

We agreed that to qualify as a fast growing business, they would be

–          Private sector, privately owned, no PLCs

–          The corporate decision making had to be carried out in Yorkshire

–          Revenues had to have grown, year on year, for the last three years while companies must be profitable all three years

Criteria such as taxation and number of employees were not part of this year’s research but could be considered in the future.

Which were the strong growth sectors – and who was missing?

Click on the image below to hear Shadow Chancellor and Morley & Outwood MP, Ed Balls, Bernard Ginns, business editor of the Yorkshire Post – and from the winning companies.

As a human resource management researcher, I was particularly interested to look at themes and trends in the analysis.

The 1,000 businesses who broadly met the criteria came from manufacturing, engineering, constructions, industrial machinery, recycling and waste, food retailing and software – or businesses serving the needs of the recession, such as pound shops and payday loan companies.

I expected to see – and didn’t – real estate, hospitality/tourism, pharma (only one was in the list with vitamins) and research, mass media/advertising, consulting or education companies.

Trends from 2012 research

This year there were twice as many businesses in Yorkshire that met the growth criteria – last year there were just 500.

The research last year covered the years 2008, 2009 and 2010.  For many businesses, 2009 saw a rapid drop in revenues and profit which excluded them from the final cut.  However this year, 2009 became our base year and there were 1000 businesses that have seen consistent year on year growth since.

It seems like we are looking at a recovery, of sorts, here.

Which were the fastest growing companies in Yorkshire in 2013?

Winners pictured with Andreas Chronopolous, left, at the awards lunch

Loan specialist WageDayAdvance won the awards for fastest growing large business and overall fastest growing business at the event at Aspire Leeds.  WageDayAdvance was founded by entrepreneur Dale Chapman and now employs more than 150 people.

MSM Foods Limited of Normanton was named the fastest growing small business for the second year in a row.  The food wholesaler supplies Polish food to retailers nationwide.

Magma Ceramics and Catalysts Limited picked up the trophy for fastest growing medium-sized company of the year, making ceramics and catalysts for a range of sectors with customers across the world, and operations in Brazil and Vietnam.

I am sure these businesses will become case studies for our MBA business management.  And Jamie Martin, managing partner at sponsor Ward Hadaway explains why these are such good examples in business management:  “As well as demonstrating our support for Yorkshire business, the Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards also show what can happen when people with drive, determination and ability get the right backing from the right people.”

Which sectors do you think are seeing the fastest growth – and why do you think IT, digital and research-based companies were missing from the fastest growing over the last three years?

One thought on “Twice as many Yorkshire businesses are growing revenues and profits as last year

  1. Peter Prowse

    An interesting increasing growth of businesses and an increased contribution to the Regional economy. What was really good on the Awards Day was to see the mix of people from all backgrounds and genders contributing to the growth of the region.
    Peter Prowse, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management

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