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BHP Top 50 SMEs North Derbyshire

BHP’s Top 50 survey of the most profitable SMEs in North Derbyshire, showcases many of the region’s most successful businesses, that all contribute hugely to the local economy.

This year the combined results reveal a marked slowdown in overall growth since 2016. This is probably in part due to the impact of Brexit, the American election and the effect that currency exchange rates have had on importers. It’s safe to say it’s been a turbulent time of late, and uncertainty is never good for markets.

A snapshot of the figures reveals a £113million decrease in the combined turnover of the Top 50 businesses from £734million to £621 million. As a result pre-tax profits are also down from £67million to £59million. However, employee numbers have risen slightly from 4,993 in 2016 to 5,040 in 2017, which is positive news for local people.

The services and manufacturing sectors dominate the table this year, with the largest turnover figures of £272million and £130million respectively, followed by the wholesale sector which has a £118million turnover and the retail sector which has a £101million turnover.

Retail businesses have outperformed other industries this year, with a 13% increase in turnover, a 17% increase in pre-tax profits and a 43% increase in employee numbers. This is very encouraging news for the retail sector, which has demonstrated good growth patterns lately, after years of poor performance.

Overall the manufacturing sector has experienced a 3% fall in turnover, but an 8% growth in pre-tax profits, and 10% growth in employee numbers. With many companies in this sector reporting growth in profits and employee numbers, it’s largely very positive news for manufacturing, and this should enable further investment in the sector.

The services sector also continues to grow steadily, with an 8% growth in annual turnover, although there has been considerable pressure on profits, with a 13% annual decrease. This has therefore resulted in a decline in employment figures of 8%.

This year there have been 15 new entrants from varying sectors in the Top 50 table, the highest is for Pbst Limited, a financial services firm in 13th place, followed by Cloudbass Limited, which provides solutions to the broadcast market, and came 22nd in the table.

In general, it’s still a favourable fiscal environment for investment, with both the Capital Allowances and Annual Investment Allowance helping to support growth, and the continued low-interest rate economy should help to encourage further growth and stimulate investment.

However, the uncertainty surrounding post-Brexit implications for the economy will keep playing on many peoples’ minds, so we will have to wait and see what impact these factors will have on the attitude of business owners throughout 2017.

Locally in Derbyshire, regeneration plans continue to progress, with work starting on Peak Resort, the UK’s largest leisure development, which is part of the £340m mixed-use regeneration scheme Chesterfield Waterside, and work is also due to start soon on the Chesterfield Elderway redevelopment transforming the former Co-Op store into six restaurants, a gym and hotel. Hopefully, if more residential development can be encouraged alongside this, it will help to drive

consumer demand to support the new restaurants, cafes and shops appearing in the area that are contributing to its vibrancy.

To support further local investment and growth, it’s also very important that Chesterfield’s devolution deal with Sheffield City Region progresses, as this is crucial to the continued prosperity of both the town and North Derbyshire as a whole. In summary, there will no doubt be both challenges and opportunities ahead for all of the companies in this year’s Top 50, but having worked with and advised many of them during my career, I am confident that these North Derbyshire SMEs will continue to succeed and benefit the local economy greatly.

Dominic Staniforth, Partner at BHP Chartered Accountants