Profits jump at top 100 Scottish private companies

Operating profits at Scotland's top private businesses have jumped by almost two-thirds over the past 12 months, a new review suggests.

Oil downturn has meant challenging conditions. Picture: PA

Grant Thornton’s annual “Scotland Ltd” report assesses the financial performance of the country’s 100 leading privately owned limited companies.

This year’s study – published today – reveals that firms more than doubled their profit margin to 9.4 per cent, increased earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 53 per cent and employed 12 per cent more workers.

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The overall financial statements of the 100 businesses show that collective operating profit broke the £1 billion barrier, increasing from £882 million in 2014 to £1.5bn last year, from total revenues of £22.3bn. These figures were achieved with a workforce of 116,284 people.

Kevin Engel, managing partner, Scotland, at Grant Thornton, said: “The top 100 limited companies featured this year all possess certain common traits. They all appear to be achieving growth by innovating, collaborating with others and taking a resilient long-term approach to success.

“Despite challenging trading conditions caused by the global oil and gas downturn, which has contributed to a drop in exports, Scotland’s limited businesses have shown remarkable entrepreneurship and resilience.”

The report is compiled using the most recent publicly available accounts of Scotland’s top performing private businesses, base on a measure of turnover and profits.