The recovery is in full swing – but challenges remain, warns new report

Oct 09, 2014

Now in its second year, the annual Buckinghamshire Limited study looks at the performance of the county’s top 100 privately owned businesses to provide a key barometer of Buckinghamshire’s overall business performance. 

The 2014 report findings, unveiled to around 100 business leaders today (Thursday) at a breakfast event hosted by Grant Thornton, reveal a second year of excellent business performance.

Combined turnover of the top 100 companies increased by 10.5% and profit grew even faster, up 18.5%.  Employment also rose by 8%, indicating that Buckinghamshire’s economic recovery is powering ahead at full steam.

Mike Hughes, director at Grant Thornton leading the report, said: “With such a strong set of results from Buckinghamshire for a second year running, all the signs are pointing to a recovery that is in full flow.

“Interestingly, the top 100 companies are not concentrated in one area but are relatively evenly spread out with Milton Keynes, High Wycombe and Aylesbury standing out as hot spots.

“The Buckinghamshire economy is also very fluid with 26 new companies featuring in this year’s top 100, reflecting a vibrant market place full of activity.”

Mr Hughes pictured with fellow Grant Thornton director Giles Mullins and guest speaker Dr Martin Kirkup, of the 600 Campaign at the Royal Latin School in Buckingham added that the report has highlighted the skills gap and funding growth as two “significant” challenges facing businesses in the county.

“With growth comes the need to nurture and develop existing employees as well as recruit and retain the right people to help take the business forward,” Mr Hughes said.

“As the economy continues to gather pace, companies will need to think ahead and invest in training to ensure progress is not undermined by a lack of talent.”

The Buckinghamshire Limited report also analysed a breakdown of the financial data by sector.

Property & Construction and Technology delivered the highest growth in turnover of 28.5% and 19.4% respectively, while Property & Construction also demonstrated the greatest increase in wages at 12%.

Delegates at the results breakfast, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, stadiummk, also heard about the opportunities for local businesses to work with, and support, the Royal Latin School in Buckingham on its RLS 600 campaign.

Campaign co-chair Martin Kirkup shared the school’s ambitions in helping to bridge the skills gap by engaging with business leaders and universities to develop new strategies – a central theme of this year’s report – and provided an overview of the RLS 600 campaign to invest in new facilities in the school before its 600th anniversary in 2023.

The Buckinghamshire Limited study is based on the latest company accounts available and is part of a series of Limited reports conducted by Grant Thornton across the region.

For a copy of the 2014 Buckinghamshire Limited report, please contact Eve Moore of Grant Thornton on 01908 359 505 or eve.moore@uk.gt.com 

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