Sudbury: A&B Glass ranked among UK’s fastest-growing ‘Mid-Caps’

A WINDOW manufacturer based in Sudbury is among the fastest growing mid-sized firms in the UK, according to a new survey.

The study, by Real Business and Investec Bank, lists A&B Glass, which makes PVC-U windows, doors and conservatories, among 100 fastest growing “Mid Cap” firms in the UK, of which 11 are based in the east and the south east of England.

The list, compiled from data filed at Companies House, reveals that the companies that make up the Investec Hot 100 have collectively achieved an average compound growth rate of 44% over the past four years and an average turnover of �150million in their last financial year.

A&B Glass, whose managing director is Dave Barrett, enjoys a turnover of �38.5m, and its compound growth is calculated as 34%. The company has its head office on the Chilton Industrial Estate, where it has a 90,000sq ft plant, and a conservatory showsite at the Wyevale Garden Centre in Sudbury.

The average across the 11 eastern and south eastern firms in the top 100 are 43% and �70m.

The UK’s fastest growing midcap firm is Alternergy, which operates in the solar power industry. It is one of the principal wholesale/distribution companies in the sector and has a compound annual growth rate of 130%.

The 100 companies are spread across the UK and 14 different sectors, but the research has identified three key factors behind their success. First, many operate in a defensive sector such as discount retailing and bridging loans, which works well when cash is restricted. The second key factor is conducting work that big companies and the public sector can’t, won’t or shouldn’t do any more. The third factor is having an international focus based around proprietary and/or disruptive technology.

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Of the firms, 16 are in IT, software and telecoms, a further 16 in the financial and professional services industries, 13 are in the outsourcing and care services, and 10 are in energy, gold and commodities.

Investec’s Ed Cottrell described it as “a fascinating piece of research”.

“Some sectors stand out as strong and downturn-resistant: information technology, outsourced services, which are taking up functions formerly held within government and large corporates, and niche and budget retailers, which cater to price sensitive consumers.

“The Investec Hot 100 reveals the gradual emergence of a new generation of world-class UK businesses that with proprietary technology and an appetite for international markets, will be the global players of the future.”

Matthew Rock, of Real Business, said the big lesson from this year’s research was that the top 100 stayed relevant and adapted to change.