Rank Company Location Year end % annual profit growth Latest profits £000 Latest sales £000 Staff Comment
1 JobserveInternet recruitment publisher Essex 1999 124.14% 7,250 8,271 31 E-business advertising 10,000 IT vacancies daily yields 88% profit margin
2 CodemastersComputer games publisher Warwickshire 1999 118.97% †22,735 †59,773 195 Teenage brothers design top games for Playstation
3 Progressive Computer RecruitmentRecruitment agency South-west London 1998 110.55% 9,232 58,840 150 Obtained £50m venture capital in preparation for 2001 flotation
4 Carphone WarehouseMobile phone retailer Northwest London 1998 107.01% 14,863 159,647 767 235 UK stores control 45% of high street mobile phone sales
5 TravelexForeign exchange operator Central London 1998 106.94% 5,850 1,513,837 1,423 From Trafalgar Square exchange kiosk to 300 outlets world-wide
6 Necessity SuppliesPharmaceuticals importer W London 1998 105.34% 7,044 60,376 20 Euro would be "disaster" for company playing currency differentials
7 Data Marine SystemsSatellite telecommunications Aberdeen 1998 103.46% 4,826 26,128 170 Provides satellite phone link-ups in Siberia and on the QEII
8 Menzies HotelsHotel operator Derbyshire 1999 102.89% 5,847 23,232 923 Room-tracking software boosts profit for 21-hotel chain
9 Concept Automotive ServicesSecond-hand car dealer Surrey 1998 101.63% 4,779 89,835 297 Claims to sell four times more cars per square foot than competitors
10 Halewood InternationalAlcoholic drinks maker Liverpool 1999 101.30% 10,615 119,825 360 Holds near-monopoly on Romanian red wine imports to UK
11 CapelrigControl systems engineering Aberdeen 1999 100.73% 4,966 13,430 49 Won million-dollar Y2K contracts in oil and gas sector
12 IRGShare registrar Central London 1999 100.59% 8,564 21,394 427 Business tripled as competitors were forced out by computerisation costs
13 Computer FuturesRecruitment agency Central London 1998 97.19% 16,072 130,830 386 Expansion into Europe strengthened by merger with number three on table
14 Waymade HealthcarePharmaceuticals maker Essex 1998 91.53% 9,773 135,551 253 Beats competitors to UK licensing rights for expired drug patents
15 Jane NormanWomen’s clothing retailer Central London 1998 89.58% 3,641 18,929 237 Offers “catwalk looks at high street prices”
16 Sherman CooperClothing designer Northern Ireland 1999 84.75% 14,472 78,471 393 Rose from receivership to clothe Oasis singer Noel Gallagher
17 Euro PackagingCarrier bag manufacturer Birmingham 1998 83.37% 9,082 68,021 227 Malawi immigrant manufactures 30 tons of cornershop paper bags daily
18 Titan AirwaysAirline Stansted Airport 1999 83.29% 4,339 16,469 117 Flies Premier League footballers by day, Ford car parts by night
19 DysonAppliance manufacturer Wiltshire 1998 77.66% 24,257 172,844 916 Sells 85,000 bagless vacuum cleaners in the UK every month
20 CWB SystemsIT consultancy Central London 1999 77.65% 5,274 19,329 157 IT consultancy works to fixed project fee and deadline
21 Petroline WellsystemsDrilling equipment manufacturer Aberdeen 1998 77.61% 5,625 20,947 187 Founded in couple's garage and sold for £104m in 1999
22 TTPR&D consultancy Hertfordshire 1999 75.90% 10,215 36,883 393 Designs anything from chickenpox incubator to toy digital cameras
23 PoundlandDiscount retailer West Midlands 1998 75.14% 3,273 79,449 1,421 50 stores visited by one million bargain hunters each week
24 Belcher FoodFrozen meat producer Glasgow 1999 73.13% 4,689 19,561 136 Claims to be UK's largest frozen pork sausage maker
25 Pethick & CoMeat processor East Yorkshire 1999 73.06% 3,274 13,780 78 Established by four friends and sold for £14.5m ten years later
26 Dawn GroupBuilding contractor Glasgow 1999 71.88% 5,631 57,673 172 Boosted profits by avoiding low margin competitive tendering
27 Roach FoodsMeat processor Cornwall 1998 69.82% †17,312 †115,681 874 Expanded into pork processing when customer paid bill with gammon
28 Gold GroupSexy underwear retailer Surrey 1998 67.99% 7,912 54,200 720 Owns Ann Summers sex shops and stake in Birmingham City FC
29 The Imagination GroupDesign consultancy Central London 1998 66.90% 7,174 82,219 261 Holds worldwide contract for Ford motor show stands
30 Leger HolidaysCoach tour operator South Yorkshire 1998 66.88% 3,060 23,830 89 Disneyland Paris' preferred UK coach tour partner
31 Higgins GroupHousebuilder Essex 1999 65.40% 4,668 80,789 304 Family firm generates 70% of turnover from housing associations
32 MansellConstruction and property developer Croydon 1998 64.27% 5,089 420,643 2,759 Adopting US-style customer focus reverses profit decline
33 MorsonEngineering recruitment agency Manchester 1998 63.34% 3,463 70,577 80 Son bought out father in £55m venture capital deal
34 William Gibbons & SonsPrinter and finisher West Midlands 1999 62.45% 3,417 14,304 125 Fourth generation invests £5m in technology to turn around family firm
35 Speed FrameDouble-glazing manufacturer South Yorkshire 1998 60.50% 3,134 17,913 192 Claims to have Europe's largest automated double-glazing factory
36 Noskab GroupCable supplier Aberdeen 1999 60.28% 3,183 35,855 84 Set up with four staff and £20,000 worth of stock
37 Blackwell PublishingAcademic publisher Oxford 1998 58.89% 6,506 31,453 146 Traditional publisher moves into specialist journals and the US market
38 JosephDesigner clothes retailer West London 1999 57.42% 9,387 44,584 336 Moroccan founder sold 34-outlet business for £98m in September 1999
39 Laing O’RourkeEngineering and construction group Dartford 1999 57.26% 7,921 188,483 2,059 Worked on the Millennium Dome and Museum of Scotland
40 ERMEnvironmental consultancy Central London 1999 57.11% 4,181 57,814 883 Saving Taj Mahal and advising Latin American countries on eco-tourism
41 Highfield GroupNursing home operator Edinburgh 1998 56.73% 6,546 43,336 4,426 Brothers left army to set up chain of 74 nursing homes
42 Whitehouse GroupCar dealer Kent 1999 56.14% 6,940 169,053 513 Acquired local rivals and cut loss-makers from its showrooms
43 ExpotelTravel services provider Manchester 1998 55.56% 3,114 37,488 395 Books accommodation worldwide for clients including Ministry of Defence
44 John Cotton GroupBed fillings manufacturer West Yorkshire 1999 54.89% 6,403 56,080 690 Produces 150,000 pillows weekly for clients including Marks & Spencer
45 TVRSports car manufacturer Blackpool 1998 54.86% 5,332 51,543 633 Competes with Porsche and Ferrari for UK sports car market
46 FitzpatrickBuilding contractor Hertfordshire 1998 53.60% 3,258 115,830 562 Began building wartime airfields, now constructs hospitals in Kazakhstan
47 Dunelm Soft FurnishingsSoft furnishings retailer Leicester 1998 53.48% 6,882 40,486 328 Firm founded by husband and wife team expands to 35 stores
48 Kent PharmaceuticalsPharmaceuticals distributor Kent 1999 53.26% 4,535 35,780 160 Produces Early Bird pregnancy testing kits
49 Hobbs LtdFashion clothes retailer North London 1999 52.82% 4,003 28,559 403 Family clothing store expands into up-market high street chain
50 HPC EngineeringEngineer and manufacturer West Sussex 1998 51.99% 4,112 28,708 227 Makes the 'Spirit of Ecstasy' for Rolls Royce bonnets
51 Elan ComputingRecruitment agency Central London 1998 51.75% 6,953 141,983 272 Bought by Manpower for £88m in January 2000
52 GlotelRecruitment agency Central London 1999 50.80% 4,883 102,078 226 Share price has increased four-fold since 1999 flotation
53 Bell GroupHi-tech security supplier East London 1998 50.29% 4,304 34,095 447 Founders risked everything for company now listed on LSE
54 EurochangeBureaux de change Central London 1998 50.28% 3,349 14,525 270 Chain profits from expansion into corporate money transfers
55 Dudley TaylorPharmaceuticals importer Warwick 1999 48.59% 10,073 147,064 462 Won High Court battle against multinational drug companies
56 Phoenix IT GroupIT service provider Northampton 1999 48.57% 3,333 26,074 310 Made strategic decision to target profit over sales growth
57 Eastern Counties Newspaper GroupRegional newspaper publisher Norfolk 1998 48.34% 18,046 103,479 1,927 New management triples profit margins of 65-title newsgroup
58 Ilmor EngineeringRacing car engineer Northamptonshire 1999 47.57% 7,629 69,919 361 Built engine that won Mika Hakkinen two Formula One world championships
59 William DavisBuilding contractor Leicestershire 1999 47.46% 4,021 52,840 385 Won £20m contract to redevelop inner city Leicester
60 Axminster CarpetsCarpet manufacturer Devon 1998 46.21% 4,291 32,853 702 Re-carpeted Windsor Castle after “annus horribilis” fire
61 Bowmer & KirklandConstruction contractor Derbyshire 1998 46.08% 9,728 263,384 944 Family construction firm won contract to build 80 supermarkets
62 S & A FoodsEthnic food producer Derby 1999 45.54% 8,796 60,130 795 Won Asda blind-tasting competition and now supplies 1.5m meals weekly
63 Westbridge InternationalClothing importer Nottingham 1999 44.28% 4,512 52,445 732 Grew from mother's post-war market stall to license COSMO clothing brand
64 Baxi PartnershipBoiler manufacturer Lancashire 1999 43.97% 10,469 118,603 1,327 Family gave firm to employees creating UK's largest staff-owned manufacturer
65 North East Truck & VanTruck dealer Cleveland 1999 43.34% 3,819 71,860 251 Virtual showrooms allow clients to customise vehicles
66 Carey GroupBuilder Wembley 1999 42.94% 6,370 62,169 347 Brothers won £12m contract for Windsor Legoland
67 PA Consulting GroupManagement, IT consultancy Central London 1998 42.94% 35,730 277,113 2,423 Won award for developing cattle passports to track BSE-free herds
68 Stewart MilneHousebuilder Aberdeen 1999 42.86% 8,831 115,081 737 Makes timber house frames for Falkland Islands
69 David Meek GroupPlant hire Bristol 1999 42.55% 3,347 9,300 98 Recovered from near-bankruptcy to sell for £21m in 1999
70 Nelson BakewellChartered surveyor Central London 1998 42.55% 4,764 15,118 182 Stephen Fry radio adverts helped profits during property market slump
71 Bradgate ContainersEquipment module manufacturer Leicestershire 1998 42.51% 3,005 14,160 71 Supplied containerised studios for military radio during Gulf War
72 NorthdoorIT consultancy Central London 1999 42.39% 3,341 11,826 47 Named after stone door retained in Lloyd's of London's hi-tech building
73 Searchlight ElectricLighting wholesaler Manchester 1998 41.99% 3,046 14,288 137 Claims to donate all bank interest to charity
74 CPP GroupConsumer protection insurer York 1998 40.91% 5,984 39,203 314 Insurer covers 4.3m clients for card theft
75 Alban CommunicationsOutdoor advertising agency W London 1998 40.88% 3,325 112,152 64 Projected David Beckham's image onto White Cliffs of Dover
76 Elisabeth The ChefCake maker Leamington Spa 1998 39.86% †3,923 †40,970 1,171 Holds exclusive licences for Star Wars and Premier League cakes
77 Toni & GuyHair stylists Central London 1998 38.98% 6,192 59,029 1,737 Expanded from Clapham hairdressers to 240 salons worldwide
78 Symington’sConvenience foods manufacturer Leeds 1999 38.65% 3,064 16,978 121 Increased profits by investing £500,000 in new production line
79 McLoughlin GroupPipeline construction Derby 1998 38.60% 4,215 28,267 254 Venture capitalists financed £33.7m management buyout in 1998
80 Kebbell HomesEstate developer Watford 1998 38.57% 5,170 17,088 51 Carved niche in executive-style homes selling for average £260,000
81 NightspeedSecure parcel delivery West Midlands 1998 38.37% 3,570 34,675 963 Sold for £35m four years after £13m management buyout
82 Williams LeaPrinters Central London 1999 38.09% 7,549 89,573 1,203 From 19th-century printing shop to multi-media and web design
83 David McLeanBuilding contractor Flintshire 1998 37.99% 5,421 104,024 426 Company's first project was public toilet in Wales
84 Macob HoldingsBuilding contractor Wales 1999 37.39% 4,476 62,820 606 Clients include Royal Opera House and Welsh Rugby Union
85 The Rope CompanyRope manufacturer East Sussex 1998 37.32% 3,470 25,262 318 Still spins yachting ropes on site first used in 1900
86 The Miller GroupHousebuilder & construction services Edinburgh 1998 36.29% 15,010 365,758 1,945 Grandfather's architectural firm expands to £107m Channel Tunnel project
87 TravelsphereTour operator Leicestershire 1999 36.25% 8,393 82,641 296 Takes 240,000 people annually to 60 destinations worldwide
88 Foster + PartnersArchitectural consultancy Southwest London 1999 35.84% 5,953 28,751 488 Lord Norman Foster redesigned Berlin Reichstag and Wembley stadium
89 CityFlyer ExpressAirline Gatwick 1999 35.48% 7,017 117,477 642 Sold to British Airways for £75m in 1999
90 Home EntertainmentVideo retailer Peterborough 1999 34.97% 4,618 49,954 1,041 Video chain expands into internet sales of DVDs and games
91 OsborneBuilder, engineering contractor Reigate 1999 34.97% 3,565 131,412 764 Won £60m contract to maintain Railtrack stations in southern England
92 Cannon AVENTBaby product manufacturer Suffolk 1998 34.70% †7,493 †52,846 773 Venture capital turns around company split by family feuding
93 Caledonian HeritableLeisure operator Edinburgh 1998 34.66% 4,910 17,938 474 Owns Tramps nightclub in London and 100 Edinburgh pubs
94 Turner BiancaTextiles importer Lancashire 1999 34.54% 5,949 75,302 170 Ex-Vogue photographer designs bedroom ranges for Next and Asda
95 Inver House DistillersWhisky distiller Lanarkshire 1998 33.78% 6,731 51,563 134 Management team rescued distiller by building 10-brand whisky range
96 City TruckHaulier Bucks 1998 33.42% 4,204 48,037 515 Grew from three to 1,500 trucks in 21 years
97 XtracGearbox manufacturer Berkshire 1998 32.43% 10,530 30,812 154 World's largest gearbox maker for Formula One racing cars
98 TempoElectrical goods retailer Surrey 1999 32.22% 7,942 139,571 941 From five Surrey shops to 50 superstores nationwide
99 CentraxGas turbine engineer Devon 1998 32.09% 5,408 55,843 849 Founder worked with war-time jet engine pioneer Frank Whittle
100 JCT600Car dealer Bradford 1998 31.79% 8,620 231,470 665 Named after company chairman and his first Mercedes 600