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Essex businesses show buoyant results despite Brexit uncertainty

20 Nov Essex businesses show buoyant results despite Brexit uncertainty

Essex is proving to be a county confident in its entrepreneurial roots despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, a new report has revealed today.

The Essex Limited report – which is compiled by leading financial and business advisors, Grant Thornton in partnership with Birketts LLP – is an in-depth, annual health check of the Top 100 privately owned businesses in the county. The 2019 report revealed that local businesses have delivered robust overall performance, showing growth in all seven industry sectors included in the report and increases in both turnover and profit.

Headline results
This year’s results have highlighted that Essex is continuing to respond strongly to challenges surrounding Brexit, resulting in turnover and profit growth of 15% (to £10.5bn) and 11.8% respectively.

It’s also good news for local workers – in a bid to prepare for the possible exit from the EU, businesses have invested in their workforce with employment figures increasing by more than 10%. Meanwhile, an increase in the average wage to £30,036 (11.1% growth) indicates a desire to attract

new talent and retain a skilled workforce.
Turnover among the Top 100 has seen positive growth once again this year, exceeding last year’s growth of 10%. Even more impressive is that the majority of growth is organic, which has been achieved by improving internal processes, reinvesting in staff and skills and focusing on refining the products and services they provide.

Top 100 big movers
In this year’s report construction company Hill Holdings Limited, based in Waltham Abbey, has taken the accolade as Essex’s top performing company for the first time having seen turnover increase by 20.7%. They are followed by Glyn Hopkin Holdings Limited in Romford, Walstead Holdings Limited in Colchester and Shawbrook Group PLC in Brentwood.

Elsewhere, the biggest mover in the Top 100 is construction specialists, Readie Management in Romford, moving two positions to 10th place after experiencing significant organic growth of 38%.
Trevor Ling, tax director at Grant Thornton’s Essex office in Chelmsford, presented the findings during a networking event at the firm’s base on New London Road.

Commenting on the results, he said: “The Top 100 continues to be dispersed across both the county and a range of industries – from manufacturing and construction to retail and transport, which provides evidence of the many opportunities that are available in the Essex market. The diverse composition, and the ‘halo-effect’ from London, means Essex is slightly more protected than some areas when it comes to surviving Brexit.

“Against a challenging backdrop, Essex Limited has delivered a strong overall performance including increases in turnover, profit, average wage figures and number of employees – clearly Essex Limited has both focussed on retaining their existing talent as well as growth through careful recruitment.”

In total there have been 10 new entrants to the Top 100 this year. The 10 new entrants contributed 11.4% to the aggregate turnover in the current year which replaced only 6.1% of total turnover in the preceding year.