The Thames Valley 250 – our multi-billion-pound listing of the top private companies in the region – is unveiled this month. And it is getting wealthier.
The top 250’s combined turnover has grown from £18 billion to £23b. This is partly due to some new entries at the top of the list, but it also clear that a significant number of businesses have seen sales increases in the past year, despite the downturn.
The 2013 listing, which can be viewed & downloaded here, is the fourth year of the TV250 – now established as the key ranking of privately-owned businesses that have their headquarters in the Thames Valley.
From companies with sales measured at over £1,000 million to firms with just under £10m turnover, the 250 lists the most successful businesses in the area. Together the companies employ more than 157,000 people.
Based on accounts at Companies House, plus financial data sources such as Experian and OneSource, the TV 250 is compiled by The Business Magazine and once again sponsored by HSBC, business advisers Grant Thornton and law firm Blandy & Blandy.
It’s a listing of unquoted companies, ranked by turnover, and using, where possible, the last published accounts. Foreign-owned companies are excluded, as are businesses that simply have a registered office, rather than their trading office, in the Thames Valley.
This year’s list was launched on July 15 at a drinks reception at Stoke Park, near Slough, and the list in full appears in the pages that follow. The 250 can also be viewed online on our website from this month.
Top of the list, a new entrant to the 250, is the Oxford-based car parts manufacturer TI Automotive, which makes brake lines and fuel tanks for vehicles. Founded in 1919 in Birmingham, the company is now a global player, and recently opened its fifth facility in India. While it has a strong American presence, TI is still British, with its HQ at Oxford Business Park.
Thames Water comes into the list at number two. As Britain’s biggest water and waste-water business, Thames Water operates from its HQ in Reading, providing services to 14 million customers. Its turnover of nearly £1.8b was 6% up on the previous year, but operating profits were down, due to increased bad debt expense, rising power costs, network maintenance costs, and “exceptional weather”.
Companies that have seen big increases in turnover since the previous list include Urenco, Biffa Group, Airwave, Geos Group and Softcat.
At the launch event at Stoke Park, the invited guests were due to hear from HSBC economist Mark Berrisford-Smith on whether the UK was truly on its way out of recession and back to growth.
The 250 launch also heard from Westcoast’s Alex Tatham on the continued growth of this Reading-headquartered distributor of IT products and services.
There were also special presentations to four award-winning companies which had performed exceptionally during the past year.
Rules of engagement
- Thames Valley 250 companies must be private, independent businesses
- Listed companies (either LSE or foreign stockmarkets) are excluded
- Companies must be trading in the Thames Valley region, with their main headquarters located in the region
- Companies that have their registered office in the region, but don’t trade from that address, are excluded
- Companies that are foreign-owned are excluded
- Universities are included, although it is accepted that some of their income is derived from the public purse
- Businesses in last year’s 250 were asked to submit their latest results; some of these are included as they are more current than our other sources
- Otherwise, Companies House records are used, provided by Experian and OneSource
- In some cases, last year’s turnover, published in the 2012 250, has been updated
- The Thames Valley region is defined as Berkshire, Hampshire (north of Basingstoke), south Bucks, Oxon (south of Banbury) and parts of Surrey etc.