Why it’s time for some regional resilience

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Welcome to The Star/Barber Harrison & Platt 2013 Top 100 Companies Survey.

The Sheffield City Region’s people and businesses are renowned for their resilience. This is borne out by the results of this year’s survey with 88 of the 2012 Top 100 retaining their status.

This is particularly remarkable given the relative dominance of major businesses from the building products and construction sectors.

The construction sector has suffered particularly badly since the 2008 financial crisis.

Nationally it accounts for only seven per cent of total UK output whereas in the Top 100 Companies Survey it accounts for about 25 per cent of turnover.

A simple analysis shows aggregate turnover and employee numbers up by four per cent and five per cent respectively, but an increase in aggregate pre-tax losses from £105 million to £292 million.

However, overall profitability has been heavily distorted by the impact of goodwill impairment and restructuring provisions for Lakeside 1 (Keepmoat). If we look at the overall statistics excluding Lakeside 1, the headlines are:

Aggregate turnover up by 4 per cent to £14.2 billion

Aggregate employee numbers up by 6 per cent to over 79,000

£200 million improvement in profitability – from aggregate pre-tax losses of £19 million in 2012 to aggregate pre-tax profits of £181 million in 2013.

This is a very encouraging and creditable performance, particularly in light of the relatively high concentration of companies operating in one of the sectors most badly affected following the financial crisis. Elsewhere in the survey, there are numerous success stories, with a significant proportion of overall profitability generated by the manufacturing sector for which the Sheffield City Region is rightly renowned.

At first glance the survey may indicate mixed results, but these results are testament to the resilience of the Sheffield City Region and the really hard work which has been put in by business owners and management teams.