Friday, May 12, 2017

News: Rotherham companies to inspire Britain

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Rotherham-based Bluetree Design and Print, Crawshaw plc and Wilsons Carpets have all been named on a report that identifies the fastest-growing and most dynamic SMEs across the UK.

Now in its fourth year, The London Stock Exchange Group's (LSEG's) 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain has gained real prominence among UK businesses. The annual report identifies the UK's most dynamic SMEs and high growth potential companies across sectors and regions, highlighting the best of British small business. It shows companies growing at 70% per year, up from 50% last year.


Fast-growing print experts, Bluetree Design and Print Ltd moved to bigger Rotherham premises in 2015, taking on new staff. Established in 1989, the firm, previously at Templeborough, has evolved from a traditional screen printer to a predominantly digital offering. It took space at the Ignite @ Magna development in 2007 and in 2012 the business merged with instantprint.co.uk to provide a multi-channel offering.

Funding from Barclays and the Sheffield City Region Growth Fund Programme enabled the company to move to a new 86,900 sq ft site at Brookfields Park in Manvers. Staff numbers have passed the 250 mark.

Last year, instantprint cemented its place in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 when it was ranked 88th (3rd in Yorkshire) after seeing its revenue grow by an average of 54% per year over the past three years. It became the first Rotherham-based company to make the list in 2015. instantprint posted sales of £19.9m at the end of April 2016.

The group offers a range of online print products through the instantprint, Bluetree and Route One Print brands. Customers range from sole traders to multinationals and the company claims it prints 450,000 business cards a day.

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Crawshaw plc is an AIM-listed fresh meat and food to go retailer based at Hellaby that is undergoing growth plans that will see it invest £200m, opening 200 stores and creating 2,500 jobs.

Results for the full year ended January 29 2017 included turnover up 19% to £44.2m from the £37.1m reported in the previous year. Investing in expansion plans, the group made a loss before tax of £1.4m, an increase on the loss of £0.3m.

The group, which has the former CEO of Lidl in the UK and the former boss of budget chain Poundland on its executive team, recently concluded a deal with that will see 2 Sisters Food Group founder and chief executive, Ranjit Boparan (and connected party), invest approximately £5.1m for a 29.9% stake in Crawshaw, with warrants to acquire a further 20.1% of the Group. The new investment is expected to enable Crawshaw to restart its accelerated new store opening programme, with an initial focus on factory shop locations.
Wilsons Carpets, the flooring retailer, also made the list. Last year plans were submitted for a new purpose built 55,000 sq ft distribution warehouse in Rotherham that would be the foundation for growth and a national roll-out.

Established in 1968, the family firm specialises in carpets, laminate, rugs, vinyl flooring and artificial grass. Headquartered at Houndhill Park, Manvers, it has grown to run 13 stores across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with one of the largest now at The Gateway in Parkgate, Rotherham.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: "I want to congratulate the 1,000 companies from across the UK featured in London Stock Exchange Group’s pioneering 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report. Championing high growth innovative SMEs is crucial for the continued success of the UK economy and a country that works for everyone. We are committed to ensuring that companies of all sizes can access finance to grow, scale-up and create high quality well-paid jobs across the country."

Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group, added: "Four years on, LSEG's "1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain" report continues to highlight the dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses across the country that are boosting UK productivity, driving economic growth and creating jobs. The strength and diversity of these companies is readily apparent with a broad mix of UK regions and sectors represented. These companies are the very heart of an "anti-fragile" economy: more robust; more flexible and less prone to boom and bust. We must ensure we continue doing all we can to support high growth potential businesses like these.

"London Stock Exchange Group is fully committed to supporting and implementing initiatives which improve access to and cut the cost of finance for growing companies. We welcome the Government's focus on supporting SMEs as part of its Industrial Strategy and await the outcome of its review into long-term patient capital."

Bluetree website
Crawshaw website
LSEG website

Images: LSEG / Crawshaw


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