The region’s technology companies are growing – at least in terms of turnover. The latest Southern Tech 100 list, launched by The Business Magazine in February 2012, shows a combined sales figure for the top private independent technology companies of £5.2 billion, up from £4.6b a year ago.
The 100 listing is ranked by turnover. The key criteria for inclusion are:
- The company is independent and private
- It is headquartered with its main trading address in the region
- Public companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (including AIM) are excluded
- Multinationals are excluded
- Subsidiaries of foreign companies and UK holding companies are excluded, as are those that only have their registered addresses in the area. However some businesses have complex family trees, so the ultimate parent is not immediately apparent.
Top of the tree for the second year running is Westcoast, the Theale-based IT products supplier. With sales of nearly £950 million to the computer reseller network, Westcoast, founded in 1984, has grown substantially under its own name and that of Kelido, incorporated in 1997. It now employs 740 people and has offices in Reading, Dublin and Nottingham, plus a warehouse in Milton Keynes.
Second in the list is Winchester-based Arqiva, which operates at the heart of the fast-growing broadcast, satellite and mobile communications markets. With revenues of £826m, Arqiva employs 2,000 people and its major customers include BBC, Sky, Vodafone and the emergency services.