Buckinghamshire’s business is booming says report

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Buckinghamshire’s businesses are continuing to thrive, outperforming previous rates of growth for the third year in a row with increases in turnover and profitability, according to a new report.

The Buckinghamshire Limited study, conducted by business advisers Grant Thornton, provides an in-depth financial analysis of the county’s 100 largest privately owned companies within Buckinghamshire.

The findings of the 2015 report, unveiled to Buckinghamshire businesses leaders by Grant Thornton during a breakfast event at Double Tree Hilton in Milton Keynes, showed that the total turnover for the county’s top 100 companies grew by 17% to £4.37 billion.

The strong performance was matched by an impressive 25.3% increase in profits to £487 million. Nearly three quarters (72%) of companies saw a rise in profits compared with just 61% last year. Companies with a turnover of less than £50m (SME’s) grew profit considerably more than their larger counterparts.

The report also highlighted a 12.1% rise in employment, increasing to 30,829. However, average salaries fell by 1.7% to £27,756 and, with no evidence of wholesale wage inflation, this has clearly contributed to the significant profit growth.

Based on the latest company accounts, the Buckinghamshire Limited report covers the period where economic recovery was first recognised as being in full flow and the impact of changes in commodity prices such as oil were being recognised for the first time.

Commenting on the report, Mike Hughes, advisory director at Grant Thornton who presented the findings, said: “This year’s Buckinghamshire Limited report builds and accelerates on the positive trend we have seen over the past two years with the county’s top 100 companies performing strongly.

“The strength in depth of the top 100 is evidenced by the fact that more than three quarters grew turnover over the period and more than 70% were able to increase profits and employment.

“We are truly part of a vibrant local economy.”

Giles Mullins, director at Grant Thornton, added: “Confidence is high and whilst there is some political and economic uncertainty with a more polarised political landscape and the upcoming EU referendum, plus the slowing Chinese economy, business leaders in the county remain determined.

“Our report confirms Buckinghamshire companies are now, more than ever, able to cope with complex challenges and maximise growth opportunities.

“There is much narrative about the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ but, with another strong performance this year from our county’s businesses, Buckinghamshire is certainly one to watch going forward.”