Retail magnate Chris Dawson’s The Vary empire has been named the most important firm in Devon and Cornwall for 2021. The Plymouth-based low cost retailer has continued on its UK growth drive opening 5 shops in the course of the pandemic and creating 1,747 jobs.
With 12, 800 staff on the books, the retailer is by far the most important single employer within the area.
And Mr Dawson predicts the corporate will create one other 2,700 jobs within the subsequent 12 months. He expects 2021/22 will present additional gross sales development because the group “continues to discover all sides of retailing.”
It is gross sales of £1.35 billion have been helped by being classed as a necessary retailer and allowed to commerce throughout repeated lockdowns. Now, The Vary’s guardian firm, Norton Group Holdings Ltd tops this 12 months’s Annual Enterprise Information: Prime 150 companies in Devon and Cornwall , revealed at present by BusinessLive and sister print title Western Morning Information.
In at quantity two is meat producers, Dunbia (UK), based mostly in Hatherleigh.
In third spot is Devonport Dockyard, operated by Babcock Worldwide, with a turnover of £790,812,992 and 5,665 staff.
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The info for this 12 months’s record has been compiled by Annual Enterprise Information companions PKF Francis Clark and is ranked by turnover.
The information, which is formally revealed at present, acts as a barometer for very important sectors, cities and cities throughout the area.
Duncan Leslie, accomplice at PKF Francis Clark, stated: “The previous two years have been difficult, whichever sector you’re in. Many companies have been in survival mode because the pandemic has examined operations, gross sales and advertising, IT, HR and finance groups by way of fixed change.
“It’s uncommon for companies to have to interact with all of those groups to the extent that has been required over such a sustained interval. For firms to stay joined up of their strategy and focussed on key objectives has been a large problem. It has been draining for everybody.”
However South West enterprise has been resilient – almost a 3rd of Prime 150 firms grew revenues by greater than 10% – a robust efficiency in these tough instances.
Trying on the Prime 150 as a complete, complete worker numbers have risen virtually 5% to 80,618. The 20 largest companies account for 57% of all employment.
Complete turnover is down barely, to £13.75bn (2020: £13.89bn). Nevertheless, year-on-year comparisons are skewed by the 24 new entrants on this 12 months’s record.
One contributor to this general discount in turnover is Pennon Group’s sale of Viridor, accomplished in July 2020. The Exeter-headquartered Plc’s turnover was down 55%, whereas its £814m acquisition of Bristol Water Holdings – introduced in June 2021 – is but to be mirrored in its full-year revenues.
Different eye-catching offers embody the £969m acquisition of Exeter-based GCP Scholar Dwelling by newly-formed Gemini Jersey JV.
The record doesn’t embody public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
Right here is the Prime 150 –
1 (2): NORTON GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED (CDS Superstores Ltd), Plymouth, Devon
Retail magnate Chris Dawson’s The Vary chain of homeware shops noticed gross sales leap by £352m in the course of the worst of the Covid pandemic after his shops remained open as “important retailers”.
The hike in earnings to £1.35bn in 2020 led to after-tax income for the Plymouth-headquartered firm leaping to £145m – greater than thrice the £47m revenue made the earlier 12 months.
It made a lot cash it was capable of repay a financial institution mortgage of £102m. However it has not repaid about £36m it saved in the course of the year-long charges aid vacation, although it doesn’t have to do that.
And regardless of the monetary bounty, no dividend was paid to Mr Dawson, or his share-holding spouse Sarah, for the second successive 12 months, after greater than £60m was paid out to the couple throughout 2018 and 2019.
The accounts for Norton Group Holdings Ltd, the holding firm which incorporates The Vary, revealed that the 12 months to the tip of January 2021 offered “unprecedented challenges” for the corporate because of the Covid disaster.
However when the enterprise was designated, considerably controversially on the time, a necessary retailer it made hay throughout three lockdowns.
A strategic report penned by Mr Dawson stated that “important restrictions” have been positioned on shops in Wales and Eire, limiting the merchandise offered, however in any other case its shops, a few of which comprise Iceland branches, have been buying and selling full tilt.
Mr Dawson’s report stated the hike in gross sales was on account of “classification as a necessary retailer and a full 12 months of buying and selling for the 20 shops opened within the prior 12 months”.
Mr Dawson admitted the enterprise benefited from the Authorities’s enterprise charges vacation – saving a reported £36m – however insisted it used the financial savings to offset prices concerned in making shops Covid secure.
And Mr Dawson additionally burdened a ten% low cost for NHS workers in the course of the pandemic amounted to greater than £2.8m of financial savings for these key employees.
One other 5 shops opened in 2020/21, and created 1,747 jobs, and Mr Dawson predicts the corporate will create one other 2,700 jobs within the subsequent 12 months. He expects 2021/22 will present additional gross sales development because the group “continues to discover all sides of retailing.”
2 (6): DUNBIA (UK), Hatherleigh, Devon
Brothers Jim and Jack Dobson established Dungannon Meats, a premium butchers store in Moygashel, Co Tyrone, Northern Eire, in 1976, and the enterprise has expanded by way of natural development and by way of a number of acquisitions.
In July final 12 months, Daybreak Meats took full management of the Dunbia enterprise after Jim Dobson’s retirement.
It operates throughout 12 UK websites together with Dunbia Treburley abattoir and processing plant in Launceston, and the Dunbia West Devon abattoir at Hatherleigh.
Highlights this 12 months embody the launch of its Sustainable Farming programme and a win on the Nice Style Awards with its Rose County 35 Day Dry Aged Native Breed Cote de Boeuf.
The group’s Sustainability Report revealed in September reported a lower in greenhouse gases from its operations and provide chain by 248,000 tons in 2020 in comparison with 2016.
It makes use of 100% renewable electrical energy and has invested in refrigeration upgrades and decrease emission thermal vitality era.
Progress is being made proper throughout the Dunbia provide chain, with 99% of livestock sourced from Crimson Tractor Assured farms within the UK. All of Dunbia’s’ inflexible plastic packaging trays now having a 90% common recycled content material.
3 (3): DEVONPORT ROYAL DOCKYARD LIMITED (Babcock Worldwide Ltd), Plymouth, Devon
The corporate which runs Plymouth’s Devonport Dockyard is a subsidiary of engineering large Babcock Worldwide Group Plc, which has the unique contract to refuel and refit all of the Royal Navy nuclear submarines at Britain’s single submarine refitting dock.
Devonport Royal Dockyard, along with sustaining and refitting Royal Navy warships and submarines, additionally carries out different engineering companies for the MoD.
Following a restructure of Babcock Worldwide’s working mannequin the submarine and naval base companies now are a part of the corporate’s Nuclear sector, whereas warship and different companies stay within the Marine sector.
A brand new, five-year Future Maritime Assist Programme (FMSP) started in April 2021, with an possibility to increase the cope with the MoD for an additional two years, and contains deep upkeep of the Vanguard and Astute class submarines.
Throughout 2021/22 the dockyard might be engaged on a Sort 23 frigate refit and life extension and persevering with with the deep upkeep and refuelling of the Trident sub.
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The £600m undertaking to refit and lengthen the lifetime of Britain’s fleet of Sort 23 frigates has been ongoing at Devonport for the previous few years with HMS Somerset leaving the large Frigate Assist Centre dry dock “sheds” in late 2020, with the area crammed by HMS Sutherland, whereas HMS St Albans and HMS Iron Duke have been additionally in mid-refit and improve.
Devonport Royal Dockyard can be engaged in design work on the brand new era of submarines, which can change Vanguard, and floor ships and on “modernisation of infrastructure to help future submarine and warship programmes”.
Work has now began on a £2bn rebuild of amenities at Devonport Dockyard which can create greater than 600 building jobs in the course of the subsequent 5 years.
4 (1): Pennon Group Plc, Exeter, Devon
Exeter-based Pennon Group had finish to the 12 months, reporting a £90.4m pre-tax revenue for the previous six months to November – a 4.3%% hike on the identical interval in Covid-hit 2020 – partly due to its acquisition of Bristol Water.
The guardian agency of South West Water, Bournemouth Water and now Bristol Water, noticed a revenue improve on the £86.7m underlying revenue made within the first six months of the 2020/21 monetary 12 months and in addition noticed a 21.8% leap in income to £389.3m for H12021/22.
It was helped by the June 2021 acquisition of Bristol Water, which contributed to £41.6m to underlying income.
Underlying income was additionally helped by the restoration of non-household demand, as companies opened up post-lockdown, and contract wins for Pennon Water Companies, the agency’s enterprise water division.
Pennon referred to as the efficiency “resilient” after the Covid pandemic and Authorities imposed value cuts took a chew out of earnings in 2020/21.
In 2020, the agency welcomed its new chief govt Susan Davey, handed out a £20million windfall for patrons and oversaw the £4.2billion sale of waste administration operator, Viridor.
It introduced large plans to put money into new expertise and environmental enhancements, and in its workforce, and by utilizing among the proceeds of its Viridor sale to pay down debt and bolster its pension scheme.
The agency is one among solely a handful on the FTSE 350 to have each a feminine Chief Govt and Chairman and is a key stakeholder within the #BackTheGreatSouthWest marketing campaign championing levelling up within the South West.
It has launched a Inexperienced Restoration Initiative which features a plan to create as much as 500 new jobs to help the native economic system and to develop new inexperienced abilities.
In September, it welcomed 26 graduates as a part of South West Water’s new Graduate Administration Programme and in addition turned one of many first firms to enroll to the Authorities’s Kickstart scheme offering 50 six-month paid work placements to younger folks prone to long-term unemployment.
It additionally signed as much as help the #10,000 black interns initiative to supply black college students placements that additionally improves the degrees of ethnic variety and expertise throughout the trade.
5. (4): HELSTON GARAGES GROUP LIMITED, Helston, Cornwall
Turnover for the agency is down from £643,371,000 on the earlier 12 months, however the place of Helston Garages Group stays sturdy as probably the most profitable corporations in Devon and Cornwall, slipping only one place on this 12 months’s record.
Automobile possession basically has taken a backseat as extra folks ditch the commute in the course of the pandemic and work at home.
However with a rural inhabitants and a patchy public transport community, confidence in automobile possession stays comparatively sturdy within the area.
Helston Garages Group operates 43 motor dealerships all through Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset promoting Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati and Volkswagen.
Established in 1960, the family-run enterprise has expanded from a single filling station and repairs workshop to one of many UK’s high 25 dealerships.
(Picture: DC Media)
6. (5): MOLE VALLEY FARMERS LIMITED, South Molton, Devon
This South West retail agency is among the UK’s largest agricultural suppliers with holdings in Wales and extra just lately Scotland. This contains Mole Valley Farmers branches and Bridgman’s shops throughout the South West, Mole Nation Shops, Cox & Robinson farm direct shops within the South and East of England, and manufacturing websites throughout England, and Scotland.
Shaped by a band of disgruntled maverick farmers in South Molton, Mole Valley Farmers marked its sixtieth anniversary in 2020.
It welcomed new Chief Govt Jack Cordery, who succeeded Andrew Jackson after he retired in 2019.
Mole Valley was classed as an essesntial retailer in the course of the early phases of the pandemic and remained open throughout repeated lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
This 12 months, it revealed its environmental roadmap to grow to be carbon web zero by 2040.
It launched its Local weather Optimistic Agriculture initiative serving to farmers decrease their farm’s environmental footprint, together with addressing the usage of palm oil and soya in animal feeds.
7. (7): NORBORD EUROPE LIMITED, South Molton, Devon
Based mostly in South Molton, Norbord Europe is the UK’s primary engineered wooden panel producer and serving the housebuilding and building trade with flooring, panelling and roofing. This world-leading producer of engineered wood-based panel merchandise has been supplying merchandise to Europe for over 40 years.
It has three mills within the UK and one in Belgium. Its South Molton website manufactures particleboard, loft flooring panels, Contiboard DIY shelving and flat pack furnishings.
Norbord Europe is a part of Norbord Integrated, which was acquired by publicly listed Canada-owned timber agency West Fraser in February 2021.
8. (10): ACCORD-UK LTD, Barnstaple, Devon
Certainly one of North Devon’s largest employers, this pharmaceutical firm is concerned within the improvement, manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical merchandise to greater than 70 nations.
Throughout the early phases of the pandemic in 2020, managers recognsied that its merchandise could be in excessive demand.
It began the recruitment of a ‘shadow workforce’ – 50 new workers who have been educated up and will step in to safeguard towards workers illness or shielding making certain there was little disruption of its provide chain to the NHS and different stockists.
The power employs greater than 700 folks making 5 billion tablets yearly at its manufacturing plant in North Devon. It provides generic medicines and is among the quickest rising generic pharmaceutical firms within the UK and Eire.
The Accord website in Barnstaple acts because the centre of its UK operations, serving to to make a major contribution nationally to the NHS, in addition to domestically to the neighborhood in Devon.
The positioning is among the largest employers in Barnstaple and has a longtime apprenticeship programme.
The positioning can be a chosen touchdown website for the Devon Air Ambulance Belief.
9 (11): MIDAS GROUP LIMITED, Exeter, Devon
One of many UK’s largest privately-owned building and property companies firms, Midas has grown to grow to be one of many UK’s largest unbiased building and property companies suppliers, with places of work in Indian Queens in Cornwall, Exeter, Newton Abbot, Bristol, Newport in South Wales and Southampton.
A flagship construct this 12 months has been Exeter’s new £6.6million zero-carbon workplace and laboratory constructing, the Ada Lovelace Constructing on Exeter Science Park.
It has additionally began work on a £6.3million STEM and Well being Expertise Centre for Truro and Penwith School, Cornwall which can prepare the aerospace, area, inventive, vitality, mining and well being sector employees of tomorrow.
It has additionally labored on the primary part of the Oceansgate marine enterprise undertaking in South Yard, Plymouth, and a collection of schemes throughout Cornwall and Devon together with the Gateway Retail Park at Marsh Mills in Plymouth, Cornwall’s archive centre Kresen Kernow, a Premier Inn for Wadebridge and the £17million Hello-Tech and Digital Centre at South Devon School.
The initiatives mark an upturn after the pandemic in 2020 led to the agency making a £2m loss – its first in 40 years of buying and selling.
Throughout the interval, disruption, together with lockdowns, had an adversarial impact on income and revenue with some initiatives ceasing work briefly and important work happening to develop and efficiently implement plans to safeguard the well being, security and wellbeing of staff and contractors, in compliance with authorities and Building Management Council steering.
It reported in June this 12 months that it had maintained a robust order ebook.
This, mixed with positions on 45 frameworks, which incorporates the Division for Schooling and Southern Building frameworks, in addition to latest appointments to the £10bn GLA Retrofit Accelerator for Houses Initiative and the £350m ABRI Residential Framework, meant it was assured of returning to pre-pandemic revenues of circa £250m each year. The group continues to function with no debt.
(Picture: William Telford)
10. (8): Princess Yachts (Holdings) Ltd, Plymouth, Devon
The UK’s largest luxurious boat builder Princess Yachts revealed a US$1bn order ebook in 2021 and stated manufacturing is struggling to maintain up with demand.
The Plymouth producer revealed a “record-setting business efficiency” with gross sales fee surpassing manufacturing fee, driving file low distributor inventory ranges.
It stated virtually all manufacturing by way of to the tip of 2022 and greater than 60% of 2023 manufacturing is already coated by orders. By October 2021 it has already offered 20 of its flagship Superfly X95 and had 57 orders for the brand new Y72 mannequin which launched throughout summer season.
The corporate is poised for additional development with the brand new Y95, X80,and V50 already in manufacturing, in addition to 5 additional new mannequin launches by the tip of 2022.
And, regardless of being in a Covid-19 restoration part, intensive recruitment continues with elevated funding in abilities coaching and award-winning apprenticeship programmes.
The agency stated it has confronted challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing provide chain points affecting the UK. Turnover and income dipped in 2020 as the corporate was affected by a short lived Covid-related closure.
However it bounced again strongly and regardless of ongoing challenges retail gross sales have grown to the very best ranges within the historical past of the corporate, with an order ebook exceeding US$1bn.
With file low distributor inventory ranges globally – equal to 1 to 2 weeks of inventory – and manufacturing virtually fully coated by orders into the second half of 2023, the corporate stated it’s in a novel business place.
Though 2020 turnover decreased to £244m from 2019’s full 12 months turnover of £314m, the corporate reported a “considerably improved” monetary efficiency in 2021 and expects even stronger ends in 2022.
The Prime 150 corporations:
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