Ten Scottish companies appear in Britain’s biggest private companies table

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Published this weekend, the 18th annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the biggest sales.

The 10 companies headquartered in Scotland (compared to six last year) have made a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. Together they achieved sales of £12.1bn and profits of £1.3bn in their latest financial year, and employ more than 46,100 people.

The top-ranked company in Scotland is Arnold Clark (No 8), which now operates 200 dealerships and 150 service centres across the UK. It sells more than 300,000 cars a year and sales reached a record £4.2bn in 2018.

The 10 Scottish companies include four new entrants, including Menzies Distribution (No 59), which delivers more than 7m newspapers and magazines to newsagents and retailers each morning. It was a division of John Menzies Plc until last year when it was sold to Endless Private Equity for £74.5m. Sales were £1bn in 2017.

The three other newcomers are construction firms Robertson (No 98) and Miller Homes (No 100), and facilities maintenance provider City Facilities Management (No 87), which grew is sales by a third (33%) to reach £822m in 2017, boosted by growth in Australia and southeast Asia.

The companies Scotland appear alongside other well-known British names, including bet365ClarksIcelandJCBJohn Lewis PartnershipNando’s and Specsavers.

This year, the 100 companies reached a record £220bn in total sales, up 14% on the prior year, with total profits of £24.6bn, up by 15%. Almost four in five companies (78) increased sales in their latest financial year.

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK, commented:

“Once again, Britain’s most ambitious private enterprises have shown their mettle by shrugging off uncertainty, growing their combined sales 14% to a record £220bn. It’s reassuring that UK businesses are navigating change so confidently and the companies in the Top Track 100 are an inspiration to all. The 10 companies in Scotland are the kinds of firms that provide the backbone of our economy, and we at HSBC UK are thrilled to see them thrive.”

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