Belfast Telegraph

Triumph for Fiveways service station in Newry after it is listed in the Mid-Market 100

By John Mulgrew

A family-owned Newry service station has been named as one of the UK’s fastest growing medium-sized businesses. Fiveways Shop and Service station — which has been run by Colm Meehan (67) for the last 27 years — was among six Northern Ireland firms which made into the Mid-Market 100 list.

And Northern Ireland’s medium-sized businesses are now outpacing rivals in Scotland and Wales, with more firms here witnessing growth, according to the research from Investec and DueDil.

Located at a key junction, where Newry's Armagh Road branches off to Belfast, Portadown and Dublin, Fiveways - which came in at number 94 on the list - posted turnover of more than £22m during its last set of accounts.

Father-of-six Colm Meehan, who is also a house builder, set up the business almost 30 years ago after buying a small shop. He told the Belfast Telegraph he was "delighted" to have been named by Investec as one of the fastest growing mid-market companies.

"We started as a very small convenience store over 27 years ago and have achieved considerable growth following significant investment in our new premises in the last four years," he said.

"We are grateful to our management and staff and our very loyal customer base who have supported us over the years in an increasingly competitive market."

The survey looks at the fastest-growing medium-sized businesses across the UK - analysing their growth in turnover over a four-year period.

Glyn Roberts of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said it was "good to see an independent retailer doing so well".

"And there is also a very strong link, not just in terms of supporting local employment, but also the relationship with local suppliers as well," he said.

SDLP councillor Gary Stokes said the firm's growth was "down to the commitment of its founder and his family."

Just seven firms from Scotland and Wales combined appeared on the top 100 list.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's top performer was Newtownabbey electrical engineers BI Electrical Services.

It came in 29th among expanding firms across the UK, boasting a rise in its turnover of 46%.

The other companies making the list included Belfast-based healthcare recruitment firm Direct Medics, along with CDE Global in Cookstown, Lynn's Country Foods and Cookstown engineering firm Tes Ltd.

As predicted, the London and south east England regions topped the list for the largest number of fastest-growing firms in the UK.

But the number fell from 39 to 36 over the last six months.

The "positive figures across the board" are a "testament to continued growth in the mid-market sector across" the UK, according to Ed Cottrell, head of growth and acquisition finance at Investec.

Belfast Telegraph