TOP 100: The queen of city region firms

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Is this the best company in Sheffield City Region? The Queen appears to think so.

AESSEAL won its 13th Queen’s Award last month, this time for innovation after it developed a modular approach to seal support systems.

It comes after 12 wins dating back to 1988.

The firm also has the numbers to back it up.

Group turnover rose one per cent after the effect of currency movements to £143m in the year to December 31 2015. It posts regular pre-tax profits of £18m to £19m, making it far and away the most profitable company in Rotherham. The group employs more than 1,650 people worldwide, including 680 in the UK and Ireland and 350 in Rotherham.

Founder and managing director Chris Rea OBE said: “Without innovation, we would be suffering the same declines as everybody else. When you are innovative you tend to protect your market share. You also have the chance to go and innovate in somebody else’s market share.”

The group has four chartered engineers leading a team of 140 engineers at its global technology headquarters in Rotherham. Mr Rea, who is closely involved in product development, said he was “delighted” with the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

He said: “I enjoy the process but I’m pleased there are people in this business who are more capable of developing it in a way that makes it sustainable. They have come up with fantastic products.”