Belfast Telegraph

Ulster companies on 'most profitable' list

By Heather McGarrigle

Two Northern Ireland companies are on a list of the UK's most profitable businesses.

The Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 ranks the 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years of available audited accounts.

The annual league table is now in its 13th year.

Ballyclare-based Chain Reaction Cycles is the top Northern Ireland company on the list, making its second appearance.

Texthelp Systems in Antrim make their debut on the league table.

Between them, they employ 458 people, having added 293 jobs over the last three years and generated combined profits of £17.8m.

Chain Reaction's profits grew on average 63% a year over three years to £13.5m in 2010. The online retailer has customers in over 100 countries and a range of over 90,000 bikes and accessories.

Texthelp Systems makes IT software that converts text into speech to help people with language difficulties to improve their reading skills. Their profits grew an average 60% a year over three years to £4.4m in 2010.

Well-known brands featured on the list include Cath Kidston, Dr Martens and Vue Entertainment.

Kevin MacAllister, Northern Ireland partner and private business leader at PwC, said: "In a region where a dynamic private business sector is essential to rebalance the economy, it's great to see two companies showcasing the region's private sector.

"I'm delighted that Chain Reaction has been listed again in 2012, while Texthelp Systems is making a well-deserved first appearance on the league table.

"It's dynamic private businesses like these that can set an example to the rest of the Northern Ireland private sector and demonstrate how determined and export-focused companies can help economic recovery and growth."


The combined profits of the two firms listed by the Sunday Times