The largest 250 by revenue companies in the Yorkshire area continue to perform well, with particularly the top 200 mid-sized businesses enjoying revenue growth of 13.2% and profits up by 2.9%, research by BDO shows. Employment is up as well, with a total addition of around 30,000 jobs since last year. Technology and media companies in the region are the main stars this year, enjoying a 20% increase in profit before tax and adding 18% more staff to the payroll.
In a recent report from BDO, titled ‘The Yorkshire Report 2015’, the professional services firm explores the Yorkshire region in terms of the current economic vibrancy of its 250 largest businesses by revenue between 2013 and 2014, and compared the aggregated total with last years’ results. The top 50 of the selected 250 are the larger organisations operating in the region, while the following 200 are considered mid-tier companies. The majority of businesses are found in West Yorkshire region, with the most based in Leeds and Sheffield.
Yorkshire Regional statistics
In terms of raw numbers, businesses in the region are doing well. The report finds that turnover for the Group has increased 6.9% on last year, hitting £102 billion, up from £96 billion the year before. Their profits fell however, by -2.5%, from £2.34 billion to £2.29 billion. The total number of people working for large and mid-sized firms grew by 4.9%, up from 591,000 to reach in 620,000 2014.
Particularly the mid-market firms have had a good year, with overseas revenue for the segment growing 19.3% while domestic turnover jumped 13.2%, the number of employees growing 11.6% while profits were up by 2.9%.
One sector that has continued to flourish in the region is manufacturing, representing 72 of the 250 Group. The sector earned a third of Group profits, generated half of international sales and employs 72,956 people. The sector managed to use the macroeconomic upturn in the region to turn a profit on flat revenue. While the sector has done relatively well, downside risks remain. These include the increasing value of the pound against the Euro and other international markets making export less competitive, as well as cheaper oil prices reducing the demand for goods manufactured that are related to the oil business.
The report also highlights that the region continues to perform well on the international stage, even with the potential headwind from currency exchange rates and goods types. The region as a whole, including the manufacturing sector, grew considerably over the past year, with turnover from overseas hitting £9.5 billion, up 7.7% on last year’s £8.8 billion. The region too remains well connected with over-seas clients and economic zones, with 58 of the 250 businesses owned by foreign companies.
Technology & media and mobile
While manufacturing is enjoying stable function within the confines of the changing fortunes of the UK and international monetary and system, telecommunications and media have also communicated and performed strongly within the Yorkshire region. The region enjoyed levels of competitive growth, with the technology and media sector seeing a 19.8% increase in profit before tax and an increase in turnover of almost 8%.
While investment levels in technology have been healthy in recent years, another recent BDO report highlights that nearly a third (31%) of UK mid-market technology and media companies believe that the availability of finance over the next five years to fund innovation projects would restrict their plans for growth. Although 45% see financial access as their biggest barrier to growth, the research also highlights that three-quarters are optimistic about medium-term prospects.