Northern Ireland’s leading SMEs have seen sales grow by 5.6%, the Ulster Business Next 200 can reveal.
The accounting periods are perhaps the last which will be largely unaffected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, covering 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
The Next 200 list, sponsored by KPMG, shows sales are up 5.6% from £8.36bn to £8.84bn, while profitability has grown by 2.4% from £552.9m to £566.2m.
The ranking charts the success stories of Northern Ireland’s leading small and medium-sized businesses, ranked by turnover, and follows on from our Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list – which showcases the largest firms operating here.
It’s compiled using data from Dun & Bradstreet and Companies House.
This year, Whitemountain Quarries topped the list, with turnover of £91.5m. That was up from £76.6m a year earlier.
“The increase of 5.6% remains encouraging in what has been a challenging time for Northern Ireland entrepreneurs with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” according to analyst Jonathan Cushley, who worked on compiling the list.
A total of 66 companies showed a decrease of turnover from prior year.
“The companies operated on a profit margin (profit/revenue) of 6.4% compared to a prior year figure of 6.6%,” Mr Cushley said. “This margin of 6.4% remains favourable when compared to the 2020 Top 100 listing which showed a pre tax profit margin of 3.7% on a turnover of £27.5bn.”
John Mulgrew, editor of Ulster Business, said: “It’s long been said that Northern Ireland is fuelled by its small and medium-sized businesses, and companies smaller still. The latest Next 200 shows just how true that is.
“There remain a plethora of companies, some quietly, doing huge levels of business both here at home, as well as exporting across the UK, Ireland and beyond.
“It is likely that future editions will start to show the impact which Covid-19 has had on company top lines.
“Some sectors will obviously have been hit harder than others, but it’s also likely some companies will have been able to weather the storm, and in fact, have seen sales rising as consumer and market demands shift.”
Johnny Hanna, partner in charge, KPMG in Northern Ireland, said: “We at KPMG are delighted to be sponsoring the Ulster Business Next 200.
“The Next 200 companies come from every corner of Northern Ireland and represent every sector, making up the backbone of this economy which we are all lucky enough to be part of.
“To each of the businesses on this list we say congratulations for navigating the last year and good luck in the coming months.”