Shock as big losses hit trio

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A trio of leading Sheffield companies have plunged out of the top three positions in the ranking of the city’s most profitable Top 100 companies.

Insulating, roofing and commercial interiors products supplier SIG, fencing manufacturer Betafence and construction group Henry Boot have all seen profits turn to losses – as, too, did fifth placed Siemens VAI Metal Technologies.

SIG may continue to have the highest turnover and number of employees, but profits of £33 million turned into losses of £55 million this year, while Betafence’s £23 million profit last year, turned into a £7 million loss and Henry Boot saw profits of £19 million turn into a £12 million loss.

Meanwhile, ELG Haniel Metals slipped from fourth to sixth as profits halved.

Topping the list after almost doubling its profits is Danaher UK Industries, placed sixth in last year’s Sheffield profits table, but the biggest improvement was recorded by the GRI Group, which boosted profits by 165 per cent from £5.1 million to £13.5 million to rise from 13th to second.

Westfield Health returns to the listing of Sheffield’s most profitable Top 100 companies for the first time since 2008, with its best placing yet.

Westfield has developed a strong online focus during the last 12 months, unveiling a new online product and brand, Health365, launching a company twitter feed and launching its first iPhone App.

A4e, whose services span employment, education, enterprise and tackling social exclusion is up from 12th to fourth after increasing profits from £5.6 million to £9.9 million.

Other companies who have improved their ranking include recruitment and skills training specialist ESG Holdings, IT products and services group Insight Direct, steel and engineering group Sheffield Forgemasters and decommissioning, dismantling, demolition and decontamination specialist EDS Group Holdings.

Newcomers to the table of Sheffield’s most profitable Top 100 businesses include LUK Aftermarket-Service, which supplies clutches and automotive accessories to dealers and garages, CSE-Global (UK), the systems integrator and technology group, motor dealer Gilder Group, Transaction Network Services, the US-owned business that provides secure electronic payments and transaction services and GO Outdoors, the UK’s fastest growing outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, which gained its first Top 100 listing last year.

The company’s arrival among the most profitable companies in the Star Business Barber Harrison & Platt Top 100 comes a month after it clinched a £28 million investment deal with 3i, with the help of financial advice from Sheffield-based BHP Coprorate Finance.

3i has taken a minority stake in GO Outdoors, which was named one of the three fastest-growing private equity-backed companies in the UK earlier this year.

The founders and, management and YFM Equity Partners continue to hold significant stakes in the company.