This year the Sheffield Star’s survey of manufacturing has been expanded to include the Top 100 Companies in the Sheffield City Region by turnover and also includes for the first time those companies involved in food production.
This change has put the Greencore Group, a major food producer, in a commanding lead at the top and has included Thorntons the chocolatiers, in ninth place.
Five companies in the Top 10 are from one of the more traditional industries that have dominated the region – the metals industry. Polypipe, a plastic pipe manufacturer, is at number 10.
A comparative analysis has been carried out on the top and the bottom 10. The 10 companies from 91 to 100 are more of a mixed bag than those at the top. Whilst metal-based manufacturing still dominates, there is also a range of other activities, including lighting and domestic furnishings.
Turnover is one measure of the importance of the organisation to the local economy, but two other measures are also useful indicators: the number of employees and the profit per employee.
Those with more employees are directly affecting the locality as those employees contribute through discretionary spending by supporting the regional infrastructure and service sector.
Profit per employee is sometimes regarded as a measure of the organisation’s ability to survive, with the higher employee profitability suggesting a sustainable business, albeit one that is readily able to replace staff that leave.
Businesses in food manufacturing and retailing can have very high turnover, with lower profitability than other sectors. A highly skilled labour force is a basic requirement for any regional economy to survive and grow when a significant proportion of local companies require highly skilled personnel.
Profit as a percentage of turnover for the Top 10 is 0.46, much lower than the 6.71 per cent by the lowest placed 10.