Manufacturers see sales rising

Prosper De Mulder Ltd. Pete Jenkinson, 53, from Bessacarr preparing to lift the frozen blocks from out of the freezer
Prosper De Mulder Ltd. Pete Jenkinson, 53, from Bessacarr preparing to lift the frozen blocks from out of the freezer
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Top manufacturers are boosting sales and maintaining their profitability, a new study published in Business Weekly reveals today.

This year’s analysis by Sheffield University Management School and Star Business Weekly is bigger and better than ever before.

For the first time, the analysis covers companies from the whole of the Sheffield City Region.

That means it goes beyond previous geographical limits of Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, to include companies in Bassletlaw, Bolsover, the Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire.

The analysis has also been extended to cover the Top 100, rather than just the Top 50 Manufacturers, reflecting both the increased area and a desire to include more companies in what is a vital part of the city region economy.

Although the changes make it more difficult to make comparisons with last year’s listing, it seems clear that the percentage of companies making profits has improved slightly to stand at 82 per cent.

While the number of companies listed has doubled, the value of their sales has more than doubled from £4.4 billion to £10.3 billion. Total profits, meanwhile, were £185 million, compared with £130 million for 50 companies last year.

A total of 45 out of last year’s Top 50 Manufacturers retain a position in the rankings, with some of the departures being solely the result of further refinement of the criteria to be considered a manufacturer.

Three very different food processors make it into the Top 10 this year. Topping the turnover table is Greencore, based at Barlborough, near Chesterfield.

Greencore operates convenience food, ingredients and agrifoods businesses, making everything from sandwiches and ready meals to sauces, chilled and frozen desserts.

Doncaster-based Prosper De Mulder is the UK’s biggest processor and recycler of waste food from “farm gate to dinner plate,” and comes in at fifth place.

The company processes some animal products to make dripping, lard, oils and other food ingredients and makes key ingredients for pet foods.

It also disposes of food waste from businesses ranging from large supermarkets to small cafes.

Meanwhile, at ninth is Thorntons, the confectioner, which started out in Sheffield in 1911 and moved to Alfreton in the mid-1980s.

Today, the company has more than 600 stores across the UK.

Four of last year’s table retain Top 10 places this year – Outokumpu, Ballyvessey Holdings, London & Scandinavian and Polypipe.

Sheffield-based stainless steel producer Outokumpu headed the table last year, followed by Ballyvessey Holdings, which owns Doncaster-based trailer manufacturer Montracon, Rotherham-based metallurgical products company London & Scandinavian and Doncaster-based Polypipe, which makes plastic pipe systems for the construction industry.

All have increased their turnover and have been joined by Firth Rixson, the Sheffield-based leading manufacturer of hi-tech forgings, superalloy components and seamless rings; forgings, castings and engineering specialist Sheffield Forgemasters and Rotherham-based metals recycler C F Booth.