Virgin tops regional league table

SIR Richard Branson's financial services provider Virgin Money is the biggest mid-market private company in the East of England, according to the new Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 250 league table.

SIR Richard Branson's financial services provider Virgin Money is the biggest mid-market private company in the East of England, according to the new Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 250 league table.

The annual ranking of Britain's 250 biggest mid-market private companies puts Norwich-based Virgin Money in 62nd place, with annual sales of £258million.

Virgin Money, launched in 1995 as Virgin direct, offers financial products including insurance, credit cards and pensions. It has around one million customers and has £2.4billion of funds under management.

Although initially launched as a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson and Australia's HHG, it is now owned entirely by Virgin, which bought the outstanding equity in 2004.


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Just behind Virgin Money, in 63rd place, is the doubling glazing and conservatory supplier Anglian Group, also based in Norwich, with sales of £257million, followed by Peterborough-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler Redbridge and regional building contractor R G Carter, which occupy 79th and 80th places respectively, each with sales of £236million.

The total of eight regional companies in the list also include media group Archant, publisher of titles including the East Anglian Daily Times, which is ranked 141st with sales of £194million, and Thetford-based cleaning products group Jeyes, in 169th place with sales of £174million.

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Together, the eight regional companies listed directly employ 16,347 staff and achieved combined sales of £1.7bn in their latest financial year, according to the report.

Nationally, the 250 companies listed generated combined salesof £54billionn and directly employed more than 400,000 staff, representing around 4% of GDP and 1.4% of the UK workforce. Household names include Chelsea FC, Tussauds Group, Travelodge and McLaren.

The full findings will be published with The Sunday Times this Sunday and at www.fasttrack.co.uk .

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