Scots small firms enjoy UK's fastest rate of growth

Small firms in Scotland are growing at the fastest pace in the UK, enjoying about 90 per cent annual average revenue growth, according to a study published today by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

BrewDog, co-founded by James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie, made the list of fast-growing SMEs. Picture: Contributed
BrewDog, co-founded by James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie, made the list of fast-growing SMEs. Picture: Contributed

The organisation said the report, called 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain, has identified the quickest-growing and most dynamic SMEs, revealing overall growth of 70 per cent a year, up from 50 per cent last year, and growth across all regions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Companies in engineering and construction led the charge in terms of the overall total, at 134, followed by financial services at 82, while property was the fastest-growing sector, with an average annual revenue growth rate of more than 100 per cent, while the number of SMEs from the IT industry jumped by a fifth.

LSEG research partner for the report and financial technology business DueDil used a variety of factors to compile the list, including a company needing to generate revenues of £6 million to £250m and each one’s average annual turnover growth rate calculated over three years.

However, while Scottish firms reported an accelerated pace of growth, only 41 of the 1,000 selected were from north of the Border.

Of the 41, 13 are based in Aberdeen, with six each in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and covering a wide range of industries from energy to entertainment.

They include Spark Energy based in the Borders, craft beer producer BrewDog, and recruiter Core-Asset Consulting. Also on the list are Glasgow-based printer and bookbinder Bell & Bain, Blaze, which provides fire-safety protection, detection and loss-prevention services for harsh and challenging environments and window maker CMS.

LSEG chief executive Xavier Rolet said the report acknowledges “the dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses across the country that are boosting UK productivity, driving economic growth and creating jobs”.

Rolet also said the companies “are the very heart of an ‘antifragile’ economy: more robust; more flexible and less prone to boom and bust”.

He added: “We must ensure we continue doing all we can to support high-growth-potential businesses like these. [LSEG] is fully committed to supporting and implementing initiatives which improve access to and cut the cost of finance for growing companies.”

Business secretary Greg Clark added: “We are committed to ensuring that companies of all sizes can access finance to grow, scale-up and create high-quality, well-paid jobs.”

Stephen Welton, head of the Business Growth Fund, said the achievements of SMEs “that collectively are the lifeblood our economy” should be encouraged and recognised.