Stellar earnings for Bedfordshire companies, a Grant Thornton survey reveals


A business survey has highlighted ‘stellar’ earnings growth in 100 privately owned Bedfordshire companies, writes Layth Yousif.

Accountants Grant Thornton today (Thursday, June 19) published Bedfordshire Ltd - a detailed report offering a snapshot of the county’s economic performance.

The comprehensive study analyses key financial indicators of the region’s 100 pre-eminent privately owned businesses - and disclosed ‘an excellent set of results’ underlining a strong rise in earnings and turnover growth compared to last year’s findings.

Speaking to the T&C ahead of the survey launch, account author Jeremy Read said: “The overall picture is a positive one. We do these reports across various counties and Bedfordshire is an interesting county.

“Generally, larger companies tend to outperform smaller ones - but we just don’t have that in Bedfordshire which suggests Bedford businesses irrespective of their size are being run well. The previous year showed a negative earnings growth of -13% but this year we have figures of +13% - a phenomenal swing. This set of results is pretty stellar.”

The total number of employees amongst the 100 companies rose 0.8%, whilst employeee renumeration rose 2.7% to an everage of £32,074. Average cost of capital fell by 0.1% suggesting bank lending has become more competitve. Combined turnover rose 2.8% to £2.8 billion.

Automotive, property and construction and the technology sectors also saw strong performances in turnover, with food, drink and leisure and in particular Bedford based brewers Charles Wells showing impressive balance sheet movements indicating they ‘have geared up significantly in anticipation of further growth.’

The report stated: “Businesses are demonstrating more confidence in investing for growth with a more benign funding market.”

Mr Read added: “Bedford businesses also appear to be set up to withstand a potential rise in interest rates.”

The town of Bedford was also the home of the most businesses in the county surveyed - 35.