TOP100 SMEs: Regional economic promise shines through

Howard Ringrose
Howard Ringrose
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As we head towards the end of 2015, the headlines make for sobering reading at first, with total turnover down by 7.3 per cent.

However this has not followed through to the bottom line, where total profits (before tax) remain virtually the same as last year, falling just 0.3 per cent.

Furthermore, total employment has seen a small increase of around 1.4 per cent, with greater increases in Rotherham and the more easterly areas of the region.

View the Top 100 SMEs SCR 2015 by clicking here

Delving further into the analysis, the manufacturing, services and wholesale sectors all show similar levels of profits as last year, but a marginal decrease is evident for the retail sector.

Breaking that down further, there have been significant falls in turnover, profits and employment numbers across the region’s food and drinks, household goods and clothing businesses. This unfortunately echoes the wider national picture.

Equally, within manufacturing, the metals and chemicals/man-made products sectors continue to experience economic struggles despite efforts to innovate, increase exports and keep a handle on power costs.

Bucking this trend however, are SMEs in machinery, equipment and electrical industries where 50 per cent-plus improvements in sales, profits and employment have occurred.

As may be expected, given the increasing numbers of cranes on the regional horizon, the property development and building-related businesses show an improved “top line”, and more new entries into the table this year. However profits remain depressed, perhaps due to increased employment costs and tight competition.

Healthier sectors include the leisure industry and the financial and professional sectors, all posting improved income and profit, alongside a more-than-doubling of employee numbers.

Geographically, it is perhaps surprising to see that Sheffield’s contribution to the Top 100 results has diminished compared to other areas, with the improvements being mainly posted in Barnsley, Chesterfield and Doncaster, as well as the smaller towns of North Nottinghamshire.

So, a mixed picture overall but promise showing through in some key regional industries.