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Buckinghamshire’s economy goes from strength to strength, says new report


More than 100 business leaders gathered to hear the results of Buckinghamshire Limited, the first ever in-depth survey into the performance of the county’s top 100 companies, at a breakfast seminar organised by business and financial advisors Grant Thornton.
Using the latest company accounts available, Buckinghamshire Limited provides a detailed financial analysis of the county’s 100 largest companies by turnover which are both privately owned and managed within Buckinghamshire, providing a key barometer of the county’s overall business performance and changing marketplace.
The report showed that combined annual turnover of Buckinghamshire’s top 100 businesses increased significantly by 12.9% from £3.1 billion to £3.5 billion over the previous year, while Earnings before Interest, Depreciation and Tax rose even faster (13.8%) from £237 million to £270 million.
Employment also grew by an impressive 8.2% from 16,226 to 17,555, a key indicator that the county’s recovery from recession has been strong. 
Presenting the findings, Grant Thornton partner David Newstead said: “The Buckinghamshire Limited results paint an encouraging picture of an extremely robust county emerging from recession. EBITDA has significantly increased which appears to have been used to support investment, with fixed assets growing by 8.5% and a similar rise in employment.
“This demonstrates the strength of our county’s economy and that Buckinghamshire businesses are well placed to make the most of growth opportunities as they arise.”
The Buckinghamshire Limited report also analysed the financial data by sector. The strongest performers were Freight & Logistics, Technology and Automotive & Motor Retail with growth of 26.4%, 19.5% and 19.4% respectively.
Property & Construction, Industrial & Manufacturing and Healthcare & Education all recorded turnover growth of less than 6.5%, half of the overall average increase.
A review of Buckinghamshire Limited’s consolidated balance sheet revealed that this too has strengthened impressively, with net assets rising by just under 14%.
Fixed assets are more than 8% higher implying genuine investment in capacity and infrastructure, while net current assets rose by 13.6% in line with turnover growth, implying stable working capital.
Furthermore, gearing, a measure of the extent to which a company is funded by debt, fell slightly from 72% to 69%, indicating that Buckinghamshire businesses are working to reduce their reliance on external funding.
Delegates at the event held at stadiummk, also heard from guest speaker Pete Winkelman, chairman of MK Dons FC. He shared his experiences of bringing professional sport and a new stadium to the county at the height of recession, reflecting on how companies can achieve success in a difficult and constantly changing climate.
  • Pictured: Pete Winkelman (centre) joins Mike Hughes and David Newstead of Grant Thornton at the launch of Buckinghamshire Limited this morning (Friday).