Northamptonshire businesses outperform UK economy

Grant Thornton

13th May 2015


Northamptonshire’s largest businesses have had another strong year, achieving a higher rate of growth than the UK economy as a whole with growth in turnover, earnings and employment, according to a new report published today.

Now in its third year, the Northamptonshire Limited report, conducted by financial and business advisers Grant Thornton, provides an in depth financial analysis of the largest 100 businesses owned and run in the county. The top businesses are selected by turnover and the analysis looks at the performance of companies across different sectors and industries.

The findings of the 2015 survey were revealed to Northamptonshire business leaders at a breakfast event hosted by Grant Thornton at Northampton Saints Rugby Club and showed that the combined turnover of the 100 companies rose by 7% to £5.55 billion and Earnings before Interest, Tax and Depreciation increased significantly by over 13.1% to £324 million. The survey also showed that employment levels have risen by an impressive 5.7%.

Based on the latest company accounts, the 2015 results build on the strong performance of Northamptonshire businesses last year.

Speaking about the survey, Mike Hughes of Grant Thornton said: “The real focus this year has been on profitability and businesses now have a robust platform to use the cash generated to expand and develop over the next few years. This could be achieved either through acquisition, which we have seen strong evidence of this year propelling some new businesses into the top 100, or organic growth delivered through investment which has also been apparent.

“The significant growth delivered in turnover and employment shows a strong, local economy which is outperforming the UK economy as a whole. This is supported by a recent Cities Outlook* report published in January which ranks Northampton as one of the best places in the country for new business start-ups.”

The Northamptonshire Limited Report also breaks down the performance of the county’s top 100 businesses by nine key sectors.

All of the sectors saw an increase in turnover with Food, Drink & Leisure having the biggest turnover of £1,583,223 followed by the Automotive & Motor Retail sector with £1,202,215 and Retail & Wholesale with £786,407. The largest sector for employment was the Food, Drink & Leisure sector with 8,151 employees followed by Retail & Wholesale with 6,074.

John Corbishley, of Grant Thornton, added: “The Northamptonshire Limited 2015 results paint a positive picture of a robust county which is continuing to perform extremely well across all sectors. Profitability amongst Northamptonshire’s 100 largest businesses has increased significantly which has been used to support investment and employment growth. This demonstrates that Northamptonshire businesses are enjoying a healthy, strong trading environment and are looking confidently to the future.

“This year, only two of the top 100 companies were lossmaking which highlights a real consistency in the performance of businesses across the county. Northamptonshire’s business prospects are very positive and we hope to see further developments throughout 2015 and into next year”.

Guests at the Northamptonshire Limited breakfast event also heard from guest speaker Giles Turrell, CEO of Weetabix based in Northamptonshire, who shared his business insights and experience.

To request a copy of the full 2015 Northamptonshire Limited report, please e-mail

*Cities Outlook report published by Centre for Cities, January 2015