Rank Company Location Year end Annual sales rise over 3 years Latest sales £000s Staff Comment
1 Drive AssistCar lessor Tamworth 1998 209.94% 35,843 100 Provides cars for accident victims and recovers costs from insurers
2 Phoenix Relocation ServicesRelocation services Hampshire 1998 200.56% 21,314 47 Takes the stress out of moving house for company staff
3 The Iron Bed CompanyBed manufacturer Chichester 1998 174.24% 5,378 95 Sells its beds using risqué advertisements in Sunday supplements
4 Ram ComputersComputer assembler Manchester 1998 170.48% 6,347 30 Manchester maths whizz kid builds computer business from bedroom
5 Progressive Computer RecruitmentRecruitment agency South-west London 1998 158.44% 58,840 150 £50m venture capital deal values enlarged group at more than £300m
6 Axon GroupIT consultancy Surrey 1998 146.20% 20,024 175 Listed on London Stock Exchange in March 1999 with £100m valuation
7 QuestusTelecoms consultancy Surrey 1998 141.12% 3,938 24 Virtual network of consultants cover European market
8 Olympian ConsultancyRecruitment agency West Sussex 1998 128.71% 18,490 108 Founder's Olympic gold medal in hockey forms basis of brand
9 ConnectologyIT consultancy Oxfordshire 1998 128.03% 4,240 21 One company's receivership is another's big break
10 Sports DivisionSports retailer Ayrshire 1998 127.71% 231,422 4,358 Filed 1998 accounts before £290m sale to JJB Sports in July 1998
11 OmegaKitchen manufacturer Doncaster 1998 125.90% 9,032 126 Entrepreneurial chairman of Sunderland FC brings new lease of life to former coalfield area
12 The Royce ConsultancyRecruitment agency Edinburgh 1998 125.60% 6,338 144 Recently bought by pharmaceuticals group Quintiles Transnational Corp
13 Antal InternationalRecruitment agency Central London 1998 123.73% 9,427 257 Shifted focus from emerging markets to Western Europe
14 Zoffany HotelsHotel operator Berkshire 1998 123.06% 8,186 288 Crack management team turns around ailing hotels
15 Beresford Blake ThomasRecruitment agency London 1998 122.59% 14,655 105 Acquired in £5.4m trade sale as a result of appearing on last year's league table
16 Cross GroupCommercial vehicle hire Staffordshire 1998 121.99% 5,782 50 Uses computers to teach army recruits advanced driving skills
17 ED White & CoIT consultancy Buckinghamshire 1998 116.21% 4,252 12 Redundant consultant out-competes his old blue-chip firm
18 Gemstone TravelTravel agency Berkshire 1998 113.03% 25,299 129 Adds package holidays to cheap airline tickets
19 Plexus PersonnelRecruitment agency London 1998 112.88% 11,316 44 Recruiter assists with staff health and mortgages
20 DublcheckContract cleaning franchisor Wales 1998 111.49% 3,416 50 Husband-and-wife team adds up to 5 new franchises a month
21 Brown RockLeisure operator Oxfordshire 1998 110.42% 4,876 111 Sports lovers build Alpine chain, including Dicks Tea Bar nightclubs
22 Eaton SecuritiesCar park operator SE London 1998 108.38% 4,315 23 Valet-style upmarket car parks sell dry cleaning and Perrier water
23 EcoflowMagnetic device retailer Cornwall 1998 107.42% 3,967 34 Franchising network helps cure arthritis in both people and pets
24 FDM GroupIT services provider Brighton 1998 106.13% 34,131 201 Company crosses the Atlantic to train US contractors
25 Walsh Trott Chick SmithAdvertising agency London 1998 105.82% 3,306 15 Serial entrepreneurs start up second ad agency
26 Value DirectElectrical goods retailer Oxfordshire 1998 105.15% 3,389 28 Dutch-British internet partnership offers dicounts to staff of blue-chip clients
27 Profile PursuitContract publishers London 1998 104.51% 7,022 67 Stock market listing planned in next two years
28 The White CompanyHome accessories retailer West London 1998 104.44% 3,136 18 Former Harpers & Queen beauty editor starts up niche mail order business
29 Natures Way FoodsSalad and vegetable packer West Sussex 1998 104.15% 10,176 92 Brothers process 2 billion salad leaves a year
30 Software WarehouseMail-order and reseller of software and hardware assembled Birmingham 1998 102.79% 64,355 284 Retailer cashes in on e-commerce by going online with Jungle.com
31 SalmonSoftware consultancy Hertfordshire 1998 102.09% 15,838 17 Crack software designers bungee jump for charity
32 InterportPharmaceuticals wholesaler South London 1998 102.08% 13,021 18 Liverpool pharmacist turns wholesale importer
33 ASi ComputerComputer distributor Worcestershire 1998 102.00% 8,822 35 Computer company hunts for 'visionary graduates'
34 The French Thornton PartnershipManagement consultancy London 1998 101.84% 3,792 23 Claims to offer significant partner involvement in every project
35 Forest EnvironmentalWaste remover London 1998 101.63% 5,304 225 Removed asbestos from London Underground tunnels
36 Computer FuturesRecruitment agency Central London 1998 100.64% 130,830 386 IT recruiter raises £50m venture capital for expansion on Continent
37 Touchbase CommunicationsSystems integrator London 1998 99.29% 8,507 132 Recruits for personality and then trains in-house
38 Partners for ChangeIT consultancy Middlesex 1998 98.34% 3,151 50 Only employs consultants who are 30+ years old
39 Concorde International ArtistesMusic agent London 1998 97.39% 5,068 20 Manages concerts for top bands such as Boyzone and B*witched
40 RovtechUnderwater vehicle operator Aberdeen 1998 96.86% 6,622 105 Competes with multinationals in battle for North Sea business
41 Complete Mobile CommunicationsMobile phone wholesaler North London 1998 96.35% †6705 50 Bulk buying from networks guarantees discounts
42 DB ActifClothing retailer London 1998 95.91% 9,664 31 Elle magazine gives birth to clothing brand
43 Exclusive HotelsHotel operator Surrey 1998 94.99% 18,147 400 Italian family runs small upmarket country house hotel chain
44 EiseneggerClothes retailer Blackpool 1998 94.88% 8,665 250 Multi-million pound business still run from founders' home
45 McGregor Boyall AssociatesRecruitment agency London 1998 93.35% 28,785 55 High flying MBA appointed for expansion in America
46 Computer Telecom InstallationsTelecoms installer Cambridgeshire 1998 92.44% 11,955 194 Former RAF avionics engineer has the edge in telecoms
47 Interlink Premier NetworkCompliance consultancy Wales 1998 92.19% 4,735 18 Stifling red tape offers growth opportunity for some
48 MathmosLava-lamp manufacturer London 1998 90.32% 12,793 156 1970s lava lamp repackaged for the 1990s
49 AGP DistributionComputer components wholesaler Hampshire 1998 88.58% 35,012 65 Subsidiaries recently launched in Tokyo and Silicon Valley
50 The Gadget ShopGift retailer Humberside 1998 86.87% †21089 217 Novelty gift company uses internet to chase customers
51 Career LegalRecruitment agency Central London 1998 86.42% 5,834 41 Consultant claims that it has never lost a client
52 Neverfail GroupBusiness software developer Berkshire 1998 85.66% 6,220 55 Company launched in aftermath of IRA City bombing
53 Fat FaceClothing retailer Hampshire 1998 85.64% 4,861 85 ‘Ski bums’ convert lifestyle into outdoor clothing brand
54 Noto CateringJapanese caterer London 1998 85.17% 4,474 92 Supplies sushi to Harrods' Food Hall and Pret A Manger
55 Travel CounsellorsTravel agency Bolton 1998 83.79% 16,008 96 Operates telesales team of home-based agents
56 Direct DigitalDigital photocopier supplier SW London 1998 83.61% 3,629 34 Digital technology cuts cost of photocopying by two-thirds
57 PMR GroupIT recruitment consultancy Kent 1998 83.39% 13,186 32 Seasoned operators claim to outpace 'baby-faced' competitors
58 Gilmac Building ServicesCommercial office refurbisher North London 1998 83.29% 3,415 30 Builders survive Christmas party fire that gutted office
59 Team 121Software installer Birmingham 1998 82.48% 16,701 184 Sale to computer giant Logica nets founder about £50m
60 Ethnic CuisineFood producer Swansea 1998 82.18% 9,893 201 Malaysian emigré supplies Chinese meals to Sainsbury's
61 Voyager NetworksComputer consultancy Coventry 1998 81.97% 8,047 44 Installed IT system for the Scottish Parliament
62 CWB SystemsIT consultancy Central London 1998 81.96% 9,083 250 IT consultancy shares project risk with clients
63 TikitLegal software supplier London 1998 80.77% 4,687 29 Electronic document storage for the legal world
64 Shuttle TechnologyPC products maker Berkshire 1998 80.13% 15,745 46 Indian engineering and Silicon Valley marketing
65 Wilson JamesSecurity provider Essex 1998 79.72% 9,765 333 Security firm vets staff with psychometric tests
66 GyroMarketing agency London 1998 79.61% 6,223 25 British marketing talents move into Silicon Valley
67 Menzies HotelsHotel operator Derbyshire 1998 79.29% 18,650 798 Company cancelled its planned flotation last year
68 Conference CreationsConference organiser Oxfordshire 1998 79.28% 5,883 15 Claims to market itself only through word of mouth
69 Industrial Technology SystemsIndustrial systems engineer Middlesbrough 1998 78.99% 3,010 71 If a system doesn't exist, this firm says it will build it
70 KeltecSystems integrator Berkshire 1998 78.73% 22,435 49 Merged with Progress to create a £40m sales company
71 S&J (Chatteris)Building contractors Cambridgeshire 1998 78.70% 12,125 47 Cambridgeshire builder expands into east Europe
72 Software 2000Printer software developer Oxford 1998 77.92% 7,006 50 Oxfordshire enterprise wins two Queen's Awards for Export
73 Bon Bon BuddiesConfectionery maker Gwent 1998 77.38% 6,114 32 Gwent firm exports chocolate Monopoly worldwide
74 Markham EngineeringBuilding services contractor Hertfordshire 1998 77.32% 6,713 25 Builder allows clients to change their mind midstream
75 Quotient CommunicationsTelecommunications consultancy Cambridgeshire 1998 76.55% 3,643 28 Advises British government on mobile phone licenses
76 Plan-Net ServicesComputer services provider London 1998 76.38% 5,007 60 Old school friends with IT and accounting skills team up
77 Pets At Home Superstores GroupPetshops Cheshire 1998 76.19% 36,093 414 Gave petshops a bright fun image and moved to out-of-town sites
78 C-SidePub and club operator Brighton 1998 75.91% 5,216 350 Employs graduates who 'aren’t ready to face real world yet'
79 Extra PersonnelProvision of temporary and permanent staff to industry West Midlands 1998 75.10% 16,674 183 Recruiter opens its own advertising agency
80 The Internet CorporationRecruitment agency London 1998 74.60% 19,668 138 Recruiter reinvents itself with move into e-commerce
81 BodenClothing retailer Northwest London 1998 74.56% 11,717 78 Mail order clothing company uses staff as models
82 Phoenix IT GroupIT service provider Northampton 1998 74.22% 20,481 260 Company plans floatation in year 2000
83 Speed FrameDouble-glazing manufacturer South Yorkshire 1998 73.95% 17,913 192 Seven day manufacturing process generates new jobs
84 Argus GroupAlarm installer East Sussex 1998 73.95% 16,117 204 Acquisitive company bought out by market leader Tyco
85 Countryside TavernsPub operator Bedfordshire 1998 73.31% 3,364 50 Founders returned to Britain after running bars in Australia and Spain
86 P&M ProductsToy manufacturer Surrey 1998 73.27% 7,288 40 Children's Blopens prove hit with customers such as Tesco
87 GlotelRecruitment agency Central London 1998 72.06% 67,635 169 Shares up by more than 200% since oversubscribed floatation
88 Vision (Office Automation)Office equipment supplier Hertfordshire 1998 71.56% 5,868 40 Company has gained 3,000 clients in five years
89 Gamble Jarvis PlantIndustrial equipment provider West Sussex 1998 71.50% 15,643 55 Family firm rides Celtic Tiger’s construction boom
90 Everwhite PlasticsPlastics manufacturer Mid Glamorgan 1998 71.32% 4,591 47 Disqualified director secured DTI exemption to run company
91 Hammersmith Medicines ResearchPharmaceutical tester West London 1998 71.05% 4,260 84 Young medical researchers export to 14 countries
92 Software CatalogueSoftware distributor Buckinghamshire 1998 70.20% 9,037 40 Adopts management ideas from Black Watch regiment
93 SontaySensor maker Kent 1998 69.77% 3,059 36 New managing director revitalises established company
94 EMS ChiaraMarketing services Wiltshire 1998 69.70% 3,159 469 Bought out by Canadian company Mosaic
95 Highfield GroupNursing home operator Edinburgh 1998 69.53% 43,336 4,426 Former soldiers provide care for the elderly
96 ComputappointRecruitment agency London 1998 69.04% 11,188 20 Multicultural company founded in living room
97 Cobra BeerBeer distributor London 1998 68.77% 4,232 30 Supplies Indian lager to 'curry-holic' British
98 Panacea ServicesProvision of computer maintenance services and sale of computers London 1998 68.11% 10,497 40 IT more profitable than jazz for computer seller
99 XteamSystems test consultancy Twickenham 1998 67.89% 3,380 52 Makes large billing systems user-friendly
100 SERECar dealer Northern Ireland 1998 67.88% 29,412 109 First and only Northern Ireland company in the league table

* Supplied by Company  † Annualised figure