Derry firms record highest combined turnover growth of any region in North or Britain, says equity firm

A new report by private equity investor BGF has found 45 high potential businesses based in Derry recorded the highest combined growth in turnover over the last three years of any region in Britain or the North.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 11:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 12:54 pm

BGF’s new ‘Ready for Business’ audit looked at turnover and employee size in firms with revenues between £3m and £150m, a category of 13,286 businesses UK-wide, including 400 based in the North and 45 in Derry. The Co. Derry companies in this range experienced the UK’s highest combined percentage of turnover growth (26 percent) in the last three years.

The county also has the highest proportion of growing businesses with 84 per cent of the high-potential companies identified growing their turnover the three-year period.

Particular growth was noted among companies in consumer manufacturing, industrial manufacturing and business and support services.

Kevin O’Connor, Head of Business at Derry & Strabane District Council, said: “Since 2015, there have been in excess of 5,000 new jobs announced in the northwest City Region. Derry City and Strabane has welcomed new employers in the financial services industry such as FinTru and Alchemy Technology Services providing high quality employment opportunities across the north west.

“In manufacturing, Terex chose Campsie as the location for their ambitious expansion plans, which built on a strong base of companies from Du Pont to Bemis, and local indigenous employers such as Fleming Agri and AE Global.

“In the wider economy, we have been delighted that our tourism numbers have reached record levels year on year, resulting in significant investment in new hotels as well as supporting our growing evening time economy. Investment in our parks, greenways and public spaces has been complemented by growth in the local residential property market with planning approvals seeing a major increase.”

Referencing the recent announcement of a ‘City Deal’ for Derry Mr. O’Connor said: “DC&SDC welcomed the £105m City Deal and Inclusive Future fund which will enable planning and business case development to now proceed on proposals for a significant landmark university medical education and innovation hub, comprising a graduate entry medical college, centres of innovation, research and teaching excellence in data-driven personalised medicine, cognitive analytics and robotics and automation.”

Paddy Graham, Head of Central Scotland and Northern Ireland at BGF, said: “These figures show that, even in challenging market conditions, there are ambitious management teams in the north west who are creating jobs and looking for growth opportunities. Some of BGF’s portfolio companies, including Derry-based Braidwater and Coleraine-headquartered Riverridge are included in the data set and we’ve supported them in their drive to grow. We want to actively engage with more of these growing companies in the region to support their plans.”