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Suffolk’s top 100 private sector companies revealed in new report





Suffolk private sector businesses have thrived through challenging times.

That’s according to a new report which shows how privately-owned businesses have fared during a testing time of rising interest rates and wider inflationary pressures

The Suffolk Limited report – produced by Grant Thornton UK LLP, in conjunction with law firm Birketts LLP - is part of an annual series of business analysis across the UK.

The modern Hay Wain. A contemporary view of Flatford Mill, the scene painted by John Constable in his painting 'The Hay Wain' in the Dedham Vale district of East England on a bright summers day. Picture: Grant Thornton UK LLP
The modern Hay Wain. A contemporary view of Flatford Mill, the scene painted by John Constable in his painting 'The Hay Wain' in the Dedham Vale district of East England on a bright summers day. Picture: Grant Thornton UK LLP

It ranks the county’s leading privately-owned companies in order of success.

The analysis is compiled using the most recently publicly available accounts – as of October 16 2023.

The 2023 report shows:

Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP
Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP

► Private firms generated £678.9m of profit, an increase of 12.4 per cent

► The number of employees has risen 2.1 per cent to 36,476

► The diverse nature of sectors in the county is pivotal to overall resilience

The region’s top performer, logistics specialist Turners (Soham) Holdings Limited, retains its position at the head of the list for the sixth consecutive year, continuing to demonstrate strong year-on-year revenue growth of 15.22 per cent.

One Group Construction
One Group Construction

The report identifies the top five largest private-owned companies in the Suffolk area as:

Turners (Soham) Holdings Limited

Maritime Transport Limited

East of England Co-operative Society Limited

A.J.N. Steelstock Ltd.

John Grose Group Limited

The consumer products sector is strongly represented across the region’s top 100 companies, with 39 businesses in the sector generating £3.2bn in sales.

Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP
Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP

Consumer products is followed by real estate and construction (£1.2bn), services (£1.1bn) and industrial products (£828m) - reflecting the county’s depth and range of expertise.

The Top 100 companies also have a wide range of turnover from £18.9m up to £598.2m.

The collective turnover for the top 100 increased by 15.8 per cent to £6.7bn in the period under review.

A similarly strong growth also came through in profit or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation), up 12.4 per cent to £678.9m.

The number of people employed by the top 100 companies rose by 2.1 per cent to 36,476, with the average salary up 5.1 per cent to £33.9k during the period under review.

This below-inflation salary increase reflects the strain on businesses to balance their longer-term talent strategies with rising margin pressures.

This is a trend mirrored nationally, with Grant Thornton’s Business Outlook Tracker recently revealing that 52 per cent of mid-market companies across the UK have frozen salary increases, with a further 36 per cent planning to do so.

Bacton Transport
Bacton Transport

Almost half (48 per cent) have also frozen workforce bonuses.

Elsewhere, the Suffolk Limited report revealed fixed assets are up 10.3 per cent to £2.28bn while gearing remained stable at 0.36.

Tim Taylor, Practice Leader for Grant Thornton UK LLP in East Anglia, said: “Suffolk has a well-earned reputation as a hotbed for enterprise.

“That is reflected in the Suffolk Limited report, which serves as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the 100 most successful private companies in the county.

“These firms act as beacons to the wider business community, offering inspiration and encouragement regarding what can be achieved, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

“Indeed, the excellent results showcased in the report are all the more remarkable when one considers the significant challenges the UK economy has faced in recent years.

“In terms of revenue growth, we’ve seen some very strong numbers - in part this is a very welcome return to normal revenue levels for some businesses for whom trading was previously significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“Looking ahead, Suffolk businesses are putting measures in place that will help the transition to a zero- carbon economy through sustainable food production and clean energy generation. East Anglia is at the forefront of the Southern North Sea transition and is developing a strong presence in bioenergy, hydrogen, and energy storage industries.

Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP
Suffolk Limited 2023 report. Credit: Grant Thornton UK LLP

“As the pressure to meet Net Zero targets grows, we expect to see more companies from this vital sector in future iterations of our report.”

Alexandra Nelson, partner in the Ipswich corporate team at Birketts, said: “The Suffolk Limited Report provides us with a great opportunity to assess how the county has fared over the last year and it is really encouraging to see that Suffolk’s top 100 private companies have continued to show such resilience.

“Our county’s top 100 face an incredibly testing trading environment, with increases in base costs and interest rates putting increased pressure on margins.

“However, Suffolk is a county of opportunity, with significant investment being made in our transport infrastructure improving links from our ports to the wider economy and largescale projects, such as the development of Sizewell C, bringing with it job creation and economic advantages for our local economy.

“The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of our country’s top companies gives us confidence that they will be well prepared to weather the challenges and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

Suffolk’s Top 100 Companies

1.Turners (Soham) Holdings Limited

2.Maritime Transport Limite

3.East Of England Co-operative Society Limited

4.A.J.N. Steelstock Limited

5.John Grose Group Limited

6.Marriott Holdings Limited

7.Suffolk Group Holdings Limited (trading as Vertas Group)

8.One Group Construction Limited

9.Green Label Holdings Limited

10.Truckeast Limited

11.Breheny Group Limited

12.Hughes Electrical Limited

13.Muntons Plc

14.P. Tuckwell Limited

15.Unity Schools Partnership

16.The Barnes Group Limited

17.Chassis-cab Limited

18.Portcrest Limited

19.Sealey (UK) Limited

20.Tru7 Limited

21.Gressingham Smithfield Limited

22.Don Construction Holdings Limited

23.Birketts LLP

24.Precon Products Limited

25.Notcutts Limited

26.Heathpatch Limited

27.Perrin Group Holdings Limited

28.Kdm Timber Limited

29.Hammond Road Garage Limited

30.Branded Garden Products Limited

31.John Banks Limited

32.Sackers Limited

33.Juddmonte Farms Limited

34.Ridley Godfrey (Holdings) Limited

35.Getech Limited

36.4 BG Group Limited

37.Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds Limited

38.A.W. & D. Hammond Limited

39.Le Bas Limited

40.Thompson Investments (London) Limited

41.Coastal Global Logistics Limited

42.Seven Asset Limited

43.Denbury Homes Holdings Limited

44.Adventure Forest Limited

45.Thornton Sugar Limited

46.NGB Construction Limited

47.Lignacite Limited

48.Bennett Plc

49.Robinson Young Holdings Limited

50.Taylor Made Joinery Interiors Limited

51.R.H.Claydon Limited

52.Tattersalls Limited

53.Logistic Planning Services Limited

54.Starke Industries Limited

55.Basetek (Holdings) Limited

56.Moores Refrigeration Controlled Transport Limited

57.H.G. Gladwell & Sons Limited

58.Herrco Cosmetics Limited

59.Ichiban UK Limited

60.Catmj Limited

61.Permastore Group Limited

62.Roger Skinner Holdings Limited

63.Edison House Group Limited

64.The Bartrum Group Limited

65.Sdsdab Limited

66.Micropress Printers Limited

67.Troy Central Limited

68.Magnus Group Limited

69.Global Chair Components Ltd

70.Glasswells Limited

71.Whitcott Holdings Limited

72.Wisdom Toothbrushes Limited

73.Cripps Developments Holdings Limited

74.Ravenwood Group Limited

75.Howard Holdings (Anglia) Limited

76.S.C.W.S. (Holdings) Limited

77.Supreme Pet Food Holdings Limited

78.Gerda Security Holdings Limited

79.Gm Holdings (Felixstowe) Limited

80.Jack Brand Holdings Limited

81.The Recroot Group Limited

82.DW Group (Anglia) Limited

83.Buyaparcel Limited

84.Brooks And Wood Limited

85.P.H. Betts (Holdings) Limited

86.I. S. & G. Steel Stockholders Limited

87.Ellpro Timber Limited

88.Black Spark Limited

89.Mervyn Lambert Plant Limited

90.Aegg Ltd

91.Bacton Transport Services Holdings Limited

92.Wellington Construction Limited

93.Rockbay Capital Limited

94.Kersey Holdings Limited

95.Badger Building (E.Anglia) Limited

96.DPL Group Limited

97.Mel Aviation Limited

98.Chestnut Inns Limited

99.Harrod UK Limited

100.Magnum Group Holdings Limited