Four Companies in Yorkshire & Humberside Feature on League Table of Britain’s Biggest Private Companies

Published this weekend, the 17th annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the biggest sales.

The four companies headquartered in Yorkshire and Humberside (compared with three last year) have made a significant contribution to the regional economy. Together they achieved sales of £4.2bn and profits of £682m in their last financial year, and collectively employ more than 13,000 people.­­­

The highest-ranked company in the region is Bradford-based JCT600 at No 45 with sales of £1.3bn in 2017, up 2%. The car dealer operates 50 showrooms across northern England, selling 18 marques including Audi, VW, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as prestige cars including Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin.

The four Yorkshire and Humberside companies include two new entrants. Doncaster-based Stoneacre Motor Group enters the league table at No 100. Managing director Shaun Foweather, 55, has led a series of acquisitions, leading to sales growth of 26% to an annualised £708m last year. British Steel, acquired by Greybull Capital in 2016 and based in Scunthorpe, also enters the table at No 49.

The companies in Yorkshire and Humberside appear with businesses from around the UK, including high-profile national brands such as Aston Martin, Dyson, JCB and Specsavers.

This year, the 100 companies reached a record £205bn in total sales, up an average of 16% on the prior year, with record total profits of £23.5bn, up by 10%. An impressive 90 companies increased sales in their latest financial year.

The league table is sponsored by HSBC, Linklaters and PwC and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company.

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, said:

“Once again, Britain’s most ambitious private enterprises have shown their mettle by shrugging off uncertainty to grow at an even faster rate than the year before. The businesses in the Top Track 100 are an inspiration to all, showing just what can be achieved with entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to succeed. The four companies in Yorkshire and Humberside are the kinds of firms that provide the backbone of our economy, and we at HSBC UK are thrilled to see them thrive.”


Biggest private companies in Yorkshire and Humberside, by rank

HQ location County Rank[2017 rank] CompanyActivity Sales £m Profits £m Staff Year end Main shareholders
BradfordWest Yorkshire 45[47] JCT600Car dealer *1,251 *31 2,185 Dec 17 Jack Tordoff (100%)
ScunthorpeNorth Lincolnshire 49[ – ] British SteelIron and steel maker †1,198 †62 4,978 Mar 17 Greybull Capital (100%)
BradfordWest Yorkshire 60[52] Yorkshire Water (Kelda)Water services provider 1,004 575 3,674 Mar 17 Corsair Infrastructure, GIC, Pan-European Infrastructure Fund, SAS Trustee Corp
DoncasterSouth Yorkshire 100[ – ] Stoneacre Motor GroupCar dealer †708 †14 2,185 Apr 17 Shaun Foweather (44%), Nigel Wood (44%), others (12%)

‡ Profits = EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation)

* Supplied by the company

† Annualised figure

The national picture

This year’s Top Track 100 achieved combined sales growth of 16% to a total of £205bn, a record for the league table, compared with last year’s 7% growth and total sales of £185bn. Profits this year grew 10% to a total of £23.5bn, also a record for the table. The companies employ 938,100 staff, having added 49,000 employees to their combined work force in their latest year. Combined debts remained high at £100bn.

The dominant region for company HQs is London (32), followed by the southeast (21) and the Midlands (16). Of the remainder, 11 companies are based in the northwest, six in Scotland, five in the southwest, four in Yorkshire and Humberside, two each in Northern Ireland and the east, and one in Wales.

The full league table is published as a six-page supplement with the business section of The Sunday Times on 8 July, both in print and in the digital edition, and on