City businesses gear up for new growth

Ian Beaumont, partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire (left) and Chris Humphreys from the company's Sheffield office.
Ian Beaumont, partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire (left) and Chris Humphreys from the company's Sheffield office.
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Businesses in Sheffield are revving up for growth according to the latest Yorkshire Report by accountants and business advisers BDO.

Nineteen companies from the city have made it into BDO’s latest Yorkshire Report, which analyses the performance of the top 150 companies in the region.

Newcomers to the list include three Sheffield businesses, metals recycling specialist Van Dalen UK, internet service provider Plusnet and Fennel Acquisition, the owners of Fletchers Bakeries.

According to the report, the 19 have boosted sales by £635 million, profits by £103.7 million and investment by £10.3 million to £81.5 million.

At a time when multinationals like Apple and Google, Vodaphone and Tesco have come under fire for their tax contributions, BDO found that Sheffield businesses were more than paying their way.

Sheffield’s top companies handed over £16 million to the tax man – up from £10.3 million for the previous year and an effective tax rate of 33.5 per cent – five per cent higher than Yorkshire companies as a whole.

The city fell down when it came to appointing women to the boards of leading local businesses.

Only 10 women served as directors of the top Sheffield companies during that year and only five were in place at the end of the 12 months, compared with 102 across Yorkshire.

Chris Humphreys, a partner at BDO in Sheffield, said: “Businesses have made a marked step change in their ways of working; they are starting to take bold moves as part of their growth strategies.

“With increased investment levels, growth in overseas markets and an inching up of gearing, it seems the biggest companies are more confident in having a future worth investing in.

“The results of Sheffield’s biggest have set a mood for growth; they act as a barometer for mid-market corporates and ambitious businesses across South Yorkshire. The market is still tough but businesses that continue to adapt and react to the world we live in should be encouraged by their growth prospects in the future.”

Ian Beaumont, partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire, said: “Sheffield businesses have put in a strong performance, with recession-friendly sectors, food manufacturers and technology, media and telecommunications companies entering the list this year.”

Looking at Yorkshire as a whole, BDO found the largest 150 companies across the region increased overall sales to £88.8 billion from £83.8 billion last year and £79.6 billion the year before.

They invested an extra £500 million to take the total to almost £3 billion, but saw operating profits falling by three per cent to £4.34 billion, a reduction of £140 million.

BDO’s Yorkshire Report is now in its seventh year.

The report is based on the latest accounts published by Yorkshire’s largest 150 businesses.

It analyses revenue and trends to create a barometer for the economic health of the region.