Profits show improvement

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Business may not have been booming, but it has been improving for the vast majority of Sheffield’s most profitable companies in this year’s Star Business/Barber Harrison & Platt Top 100.

More than two third have seen profits improve and three former loss makers have bounced back into the black and the top Sheffield profitmakers’ table.

Sheffield’s Top 15 reflects the performance of the rest of the city’s 45 Top 100 companies – only five of whom recorded losses.

The biggest turnaround was at Banner Cross Hall-based Henry Boot, where an £11.9 million loss in 2011 was transformed into an £18.9m profit, which would have seen the construction group top the Sheffield table, but for the arrival of Irwin Mitchell.

Boot recently got a boost when its Markham Vale development was included in the new Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone and has been winning new business for its Troppo renewables division.

Corporate changes at Irwin Mitchell, made in response to the Legal Services Act mean it is now eligible for inclusion in the listing, but its time at the top could prove shortlived as Top 100 table-topper SIG fights back to profitability.

SIG – Sheffield’s most profitable Top 100 company between 2005 and 2010 – notched up its highest profit - £124m – in the 2009 Top 100, but has recorded losses of £55.3m and £80.8m in the last two editions of the Top 100.

Last year’s three top profitmakers – Danaher UK Industries, GRI Group and Westfield Contributory Health Scheme have all seen their profits eroded during the last year, while controversy-hit employment and skills group A4e has secured a place in the Top 3 after profits increased from £9.7m to £15.1m.

Danaher, based at The Quadrant, on Parkway Avenue, is part of the Washington-based Danaher Corporation, which makes products ranging from hi-tech instruments used in healthcare, environmental monitoring and industry to Allen Keys and other mechanics’ and engineers’ tools.

GRI Group the Sheffield-based chemicals manufacturer and distributor, recorded the biggest improvement of any city company in last year’s Top 100, boosting profits by 165 per cent from £5.1m to £13.5m.

Profits have fallen this year, but the company still achieved a creditable £9.2m profit, despite continuing increases in raw material, fuel and energy prices putting more pressure on margins.

Metals processing technology company Siemens VAI Metals Technologies and stainless steel producer, Outokumpu Stainless join Henry Boot in turning losses into profits.

A 50 per cent increase in profits at CSE-Global (UK), the systems integrator and state of the art technology group, has lifted the Eckington company four places to sixth in the Sheffield table in only the company’s second year in the Top 100.

That puts the company two places above London & Scandinavian Metallurgical, the manufacturer of high specification metals and alloys which boosted profits from £1.6m to £8.9m.

Rising profits failed to keep fast-growing outdoor clothing and equipment retailer GO Outdoors and castings manufacturer William Cook Holdings in the Sheffield Top 15.

GO Outdoors, based in Hill Street, off Bramall Lane, was named among the British private companies with the fastest growing profits in the annual Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 rankings, published last month.

Its profits have risen from £4.3m to £5.2m, according to the latest Star Business/Barber Harrison & Platt Top 100 analysis – £500,000 below the threshold for this year’s Sheffield Top 15.

Meanwhile, William Cook increased profits from £4.1m to £4.7m.

Two other companies that have left the Sheffield Top 15 are Forgemasters – whose profits fell from £6.5m to £1.3m – and Gilder Group, which recorded a decline from £4.8m to just under £2m.


19 Irwin Mitchell 40,966

26 Henry Boot 18,918

13 A4E 15,117

27 Danaher UK Industries 12,827

9 E.L.G. Haniel Metals 10,191

80 Cse-Global (UK) 9,732

28 GRI Group 9,163

21 London & Scandinavian Metallurgical 8,932

6 Insight Direct (UK) 8,897

15 Siemens VAI Metals Technologies 8,780

63 Westfield Contributory Health Scheme 8,530

43 Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK) 8,027

3 Outokumpu Stainless 7,500

73 ESG Holdings 5,777

59 EDS Group Holdings 5,708