Sustainable Advantage, Anthesis and JDX recognised for fast growth

19 February 2019 6 min. read

Three consulting firms – Sustainable Advantage, Anthesis Group and JDX – have been recognised as some of UK’s fastest growing private enterprises. Appearing in the prestigious Fast Track 100, each firm enjoyed average growth over the last three years of around 50%.

Sponsored by Virgin Atlantic for the last 21 years, The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 is a listing of the fastest growing private companies in the UK. In recent years, it has become a barometer which the corporate world refers to. Successful alumni include Arm (which featured in the 1997, was floated in 1998 and sold in 2016 to SoftBank for £24 billion), Carphone Warehouse (which featured in the same year, merged with Dixons in 2014 for £3.8 billion) and Fever-Tree (which appeared in 2011 and is now worth £4.1 billion).

The ranking is also attached to a prestigious gala dinner, which sees those named attend in the celebration of British entrepreneurship. This year, three consulting firms will be among that esteemed number of companies in May 2019. With climate responsibility having been propelled to the top of many business agendas recently, it is no surprise that two of these related to sustainability work.Sustainable Advantage, Anthesis and JDX recognised for fast growth

Based in South London, energy and waste consultancy Sustainable Advantage works with clients to reduce energy and waste costs. Founded in 2010, the firm’s customers now include food and drinks chain Pret a Manger, hotel group Marriott, delivery startup Deliveroo, and public services provider Transport for London. The firm saw an annual sales rise of 55.63% over three years, hitting a value of £5.8 million in the year to April 2018, and seeing it rank 70th in the overall ranking.

In 88th, sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group also made the grade. The firm was founded in 2013, and has since completed a string of 13 acquisitions to drive international and domestic growth. The firm claims it helps 26% of the FTSE100 meet their climate change goals, and with a rise over three years of 48.15%, sales grew to £13.8 million in 2017, aided by a strengthened presence in the energy sector as a result of acquiring the Bristol energy and carbon management firm Sustain in November 2016. The firm is expecting strong results from the current financial year, and with two further purchases already in 2019, it looks set to continue it's rapid expansion in the future too.

Commenting on the accolade, Stuart McLachlan, CEO, Anthesis Group said, “This is testament to how sustainability has now matured into a mainstream business imperative, and how our experts and clients are making sustainability happen. We’re also honored to be associated with other winners, past and present, who include some of Britain’s best-known innovative companies and leading entrepreneurs.”

JDX is the final member of the consulting industry to feature on the list, with the business consultancy sitting 96th in the Sunday Times’ ranking. The firm supplies advisory and interim for financial services. JDX saw a 47% annual growth, averaged over three years, boosted by diversification into consultancy work across varied sectors which included financial services, FinTech, IT and legal. It has invested nearly £2 million in upgraded offices in London and New York. With the opening of its latest office in Singapore in 2016, the firm now counts branches in Birmingham, Dublin, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Commenting on his firm’s performance, Jonathan Davies, President and co-founder at JDX, said, “Our placement demonstrates JDX’s impressive sustained growth and is a reflection of everyone’s continued drive, commitment and passion. We will continue to grow JDX through building and expanding upon our combined capabilities, underpinned by a culture which builds on the past and evolves for the future.”

On the fast track

Beyond the consulting industry, the upper echelons of the Sunday Times’ ranking was divided among a multitude of different entities, representing the full spectrum of UK business. Clinical trials supplier Midwinter Solutions represented a booming pharmaceutical industry, not surprisingly taking the top spot with average three-year sales growth of over 233%. Despite the troubled retail scene of the UK, however, it was followed by a succession of consumer goods companies, as footwear developer Crep Protect, cosmetics company Revolution Beauty  and online jeweler Missoma each enjoyed growth of more than 148%. 

Food and drinks companies were also represented, despite a crunch on mid-sector players in the UK market. Mission Mars, a bar and restaurant operator, saw sales grow by 147%, while gin distiller Warner Edwards successfully rode the wave of interest in the UK’s favourite spirit. While One Retail Group gave further evidence that it is possible for some retailers to thrive in this adverse environment, AerFin ranked close behind with growth of 140%, despite the aircraft sector having also seen a number of high-profile collapses in recent years.

Elsewhere, the UK’s thriving football scene was also represented – though not by one of the clubs fans might have expected. AFC Bournemouth has the second least wealthy owner in the Premier League, and has only been present in England’s top tier for four years of its 129-year history, but clearly its consistent presence in the top flight has seen income boom, with sales having cranked up by 138% over the last three years. Concluding the top 10, ISO Spaces, a construction firm specialising in the design of modular buildings, saw sales expand by 135%.