Tuesday, April 29, 2014

News: Rotherham firms help Yorkshire plc rev up for growth

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A number of top Rotherham businesses are amongst Yorkshire's largest 150 companies, that together have amassed more than £10.4bn cash in the bank, according to analysis from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP in Yorkshire.


The BDO Yorkshire Report 2014, now in its eighth year, which compiles the latest published accounts from Yorkshire's largest 150 businesses based on revenue, analyses trends and acts as a barometer of health for the region.

Rotherham firms that make it into the top 150 include CF Booth, AESSEAL (pictured), London & Scandinavian Metallurgical Co Ltd (Now called AMG Superalloys), Maplin, LUK (UK) Ltd, JELD-WEN UK and ABS Industrial.

Companies' war chests have increased sharply by 22% on last year's figures, with cash reserves now at their highest level since records began in 2007, providing a sure fire signal that M&A activity could flourish over the next few years.

Yorkshire's biggest businesses have also boosted growth prospects by increasing investment by a further £500m, taking total investment expenditure in property, plant and machinery to almost £3.5bn in the reporting period.

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The report also found that the top 150 saw revenues increase to £90.7bn, from £88.7bn last year and £83.8bn the year previous. Operating profits increased by 5% to £4.56bn and a more focused effort on overseas markets saw international sales grow by £1.7bn, up 7.7% to more than £12bn.

Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO LLP in Yorkshire, said: "There is an overwhelming feeling of confidence across the region and the figures in this year's report confirm that growth is firmly back on the agenda.

"Having built up cash reserves during the last few years, the challenge now is for management teams – many of which may not have the experience in dealing with a "positive" cash crisis – to have the confidence and expertise to choose where to invest.

"It's a challenging prospect having spent the last four to five year's heads down firefighting, but businesses must look forward and seize the opportunities a recovering market presents. This year's success stories will come from those brave enough to invest three-fold; in talent, technology and international markets."

The contribution of manufacturing to the group increased during the year, with employment per company up 9% and overseas sales rising nearly 10%. Of the Rotherham firms, only electronics retailer Maplin is not in the manufacturing sector.

The number of manufacturers in the top 150 rose to 34 (from 31 last year), generating more than £10bn in revenue (£1bn more than last year).

BDO website

Images: AESSEAL

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