The eleventh annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table supplement was published on 11 October 2015, with title sponsor Grant Thornton.

The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 is the sister publication of The Sunday Times Top Track 100, which identifies Britain's 100 private companies with the biggest sales. The league table ranks the 250 next biggest private companies, provided either sales or operating profits have increased by at least 10% in their latest available accounts. Sales range from £140m to £650m.

Despite the tough economy, three quarters of the companies on the league table improved their operating profit margin in their latest year, and 92% increased their sales to a combined £69bn, equivalent to 4% of GDP. Staff numbers are up 29,000 from the previous year to 347,000, representing 1.1% of the UK workforce.

Peel Ports Group is the top company with sales of £616m. The company operates 19 ports and terminals across the country, handling 70m tonnes of cargo each year - 15% of the total passing through UK ports. Its profits grew 12% to £137m in 2015, the highest on the league table. Other well-known names include Barbour, Chelsea Football Club, McLaren Automotive, Nando's, Pret A Manger and The White Company. See the press releases.

Top Track 250 Ones to Watch
The Top Track 250 ‘Ones to Watch’ is a new programme that features 10 private, mid-market companies whose sales were not high enough to feature on the main league table, but have achieved strong, sustained sales and/or profit growth and merit recognition.

They include Travel Counsellors, the travel agency which has achieved 21 years of unbroken sales growth to £130m in 2014; and Argus Media, which has grown through acquisitions to double exports in four years to £96.1m in 2014, with overall sales growing 20% to £108m. See the full table here.

The 2016 Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table will be published on 10 October.

What companies say

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