Ulster scores a hat-trick as UK list of top profit makers revealed
Randox, the medical testing company founded by Dr Peter Fitzgerald in his parents' chicken shed, has joined two other Northern Ireland firms on a UK rundown of fast-growing profit-makers.
Crumlin-based Randox comes in at number 44 - the highest-ranked Northern Ireland business on the chart.
Paving business Tobermore Concrete, headed up by David Henderson, and engineering company BI Electrical Services, led by Ian Humphrey, are all included into the Sunday Times BDO Profit 100, published on Sunday.
After profits growth of 65%, it has made profits of £16.3m in 2013 and now employs 800 people in Northern Ireland.
It makes diagnostic instruments and tests used in medical laboratories and also supplies antibodies and proteins.
BI Electrical Services in Newtownabbey grew profits an average of 60% a year to £3.9m in 2013, and Magherafelt's Tobermore Concrete Products, increased profits an average of 51% a year to £3.1m in 2014.
Peter Burnside, managing partner at BDO in Northern Ireland, title sponsor of the league table, said medium-sized businesses are thriving in Northern Ireland and the UK.
Mr Burnside said: "Northern Ireland's most profitable companies have remained focused on sustainable growth by making intelligent investment decisions in innovation and overseas expansion."
Ian Humphreys, the managing director of BI Electrical Services, said he was "thrilled" that the firm had been included. "We attribute our success to a decision to invest in export markets, particularly in China where we have won a number of multi-million pound contracts," he said.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, managing director of Randox, said: "In the past three years we have witnessed a period of strong growth within Randox. Our success is largely due to our unwavering commitment to innovation and the skill, dedication and energy of our people - be they scientists, engineers, software developers or those fulfilling a wide range of business and support roles."
He added: "At the moment one in 20 people on the globe are diagnosed using Randox tests and technology, and by 2020 we want to see this increase to one in 10."
Tobermore managing director David Henderson said the firm was "delighted" to make it onto the table.
He said: "Throughout the years we've always tried to set ourselves apart in the marketplace with our world class product quality, our innovative manufacturing processes and our first class customer service - it is simply quality like no other."
Mr Henderson added: "We hope to continue our success in the coming years as the construction industry returns to growth."
The chart comes four weeks ahead of the May 5 release of the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies, which for the first time will rank Northern Ireland's most successful firms in order of pre-tax profits.
The Sunday Times BDO Profit 100 has three Northern Ireland firms - the same as Wales and east of England. There were no firms from here on the 2014 list. Online cycling accessories firm Chain Reaction Cycles featured in 2011 and 2012, while Cooneen Textiles and Westland Horticulture featured in 2013. Texthelp Systems was on the list in 2012.