Rank Company Location Year end % annual profit growth Latest profits £000 Latest sales £000 Staff Comment
1 Apple CorpsMusic rights owner Central London 2002 194.06% 18,234 50,958 9 Sold 12m of The Beatles ‘1’ album in three weeks in December 2000
2 Food Brokers Food Brokers is in liquidation as of November 2005
3 GladedaleHousebuilder Dunfermline 2002 141.06% 13,719 59,252 137 Founder builds third business through acquisitions after first went bust
4 Alan Dick & CoTelecoms infrastructure engineer Cheltenham 2002 126.22% 7,614 61,759 265 Raised £17.5m in June 2002 to fund international expansion
5 Amulet GroupPersonal injury insurer Manchester 2002 117.28% 17,022 243,133 2,366 Company went into administration in May 2003
6 Trade SalesCar dealer Slough 2001 100.63% 8,145 165,664 90 Car supermarket sells 22,000 cars a year at knock-down prices
7 The Denholm GroupShipping and oilfield services provider Glasgow 2001 98.60% 6,870 105,279 1,429 Shipping company diversifies into maintenance of Kazahk oil refinery
8 CineworldMultiplex cinema operator Central London 2002 96.41% 5,842 74,474 1,527 Former American cinema usher builds chain of 30 multiplexes in the UK
9 Central TrustLoan broker Norwich 2001 92.30% 6,694 20,395 186 Fielded 210,000 customer inquiries last year
10 JMLHousehold goods supplier North London 2001 92.27% 3,587 19,163 63 Runs more than 3,500 in-store video promotions in Britain
11 TravelexForeign exchange operator Central London 2001 86.72% 38,083 397,851 5,304 World's second-largest issuer of traveller’s cheques runs 650 outlets
12 Bon MarchéWomen's clothing retailer Huddersfield 2002 86.25% †16,385 †149,751 2,707 Chain of 250 stores bought by Peacock Group for £51m in July 2002
13 Vital ResourcesIndustrial recruitment agency Manchester 2001 83.90% 6,383 52,542 101 Places 20,000 workers annually in contract and permanent jobs
14 Andromeda EntertainmentComputer games reseller Hertfordshire 2001 83.73% 3,597 49,547 34 Former refugee supplies computer games to Littlewoods and Argos
15 Snowie HoldingsWaste manager Stirling 2001 81.52% 8,020 56,679 291 Four brothers expand farming business to treat waste for Interbrew
16 Laing O’RourkeEngineering and construction group Dartford 2002 78.64% 45,159 597,146 6,197 Bought Laing Construction for a token £1 in September 2001
17 Cygnet Health CareHealthcare provider Surrey 2001 78.16% †7,266 †27,915 393 Runs 11 private hospitals and detox programmes for heroin addicts
18 BettercareNursing home operator Belfast 2001 75.74% 5,722 37,954 2,603 Cares for 2,000 patients in 29 nursing homes across the country
19 UltravoxHearing aid supplier Cheshire 2001 74.18% 4,140 38,697 537 Sells miniature hearing aids through 450 clinics and shops
20 Besso HoldingsInsurance broker Central London 2001 73.36% 5,268 17,364 130 Management bought company from Italian immigrant founders in 1985
21 Lotus GroupTour operator South London 2001 73.06% 5,609 144,505 441 Claims its Dial-A-Flight service sells 650,000 flights a year
22 Omitec GroupElectronic equipment maker Wiltshire 2002 72.95% 3,338 18,938 180 Uses F1 engine-testing technology to find faults on ordinary cars
23 NSH TechlogisticsMobile phone repairer West Midlands 2001 71.84% 6,999 60,466 142 Provides after-sales support for Orange and Nokia phone retailers
24 ChemilinesPharmaceuticals distributor West London 2002 69.28% 6,062 47,785 84 Two brothers import low-cost prescription medicines and cosmetics
25 Landor & HawaTravel goods importer Essex 2002 67.09% 4,430 19,312 25 Imports 3,000 container loads of luggage and travel goods a year
26 BUE MarineMarine services provider Edinburgh 2001 66.67% 5,918 42,070 896 Invested £20m developing a new ice-breaker for Caspian Sea
27 Greenhous GroupCar dealer Shrewsbury 2001 66.33% 8,610 360,482 558 Operates four Vauxhall and two Daf truck dealerships
28 Mabey HoldingsBridges, steel, plant hirer Reading 2001 64.62% 43,235 162,360 1,017 Company’s modular bridges used for emergencies in Eritrea and Ghana
29 Modus GroupProperty services provider Central London 2001 64.15% 3,358 50,960 119 Redesigns offices for clients such as Hertz and Accenture
30 Palgrave BrownTimber products maker Lancashire 2002 63.79% 3,954 54,378 755 Created through merger of three building-material suppliers
31 World Class InternationalIT management consultancy Portsmouth 2001 62.75% 4,380 62,298 295 Advised NHS and Pfizer on adapting operations to the internet
32 Telecom Service CentresCall-centre operator Isle of Bute 2002 62.53% 4,457 31,132 1,619 Largest employer on Isle of Bute bought out for £28m in February
33 Hazell CarrActuarial services provider Oxfordshire 2002 62.30% 36,570 97,546 453 Diversifies into consultancy after pensions mis-selling review ends
34 McLellandCheese maker Glasgow 2002 61.61% 8,745 126,616 170 Makes the Seriously Strong brand of cheddar for British supermarkets
35 HalcrowEngineering consultancy West London 2001 58.28% 5,125 167,743 2,877 Designed King Abdullah Hospital in Jordan and UK embassy in Moscow
36 UK Car GroupCar dealer Rochdale 2001 56.73% 27,223 169,535 706 Brothers bought out father’s car dealership in £50m deal in 1998
37 European Metal RecyclingMetal recycler Warrington 2001 56.70% 28,228 487,662 1,163 Recycles 1.2m scrapped cars every year, one every 30 seconds
38 SHS GroupBrand owner Belfast 2001 56.49% 20,391 183,118 319 Markets Snapple fruit drinks and vodka-based WKD alcopops
39 Stoneacre Motor GroupCar dealer Doncaster 2002 55.35% 3,844 87,128 391 North of England dealership claims to sell 350 cars each week
40 Millgate HomesHousebuilder Berkshire 2002 53.46% 4,403 18,074 22 Builds 100 homes a year in Surrey and Berkshire commuter belt
41 C A Blackwell GroupCivil engineer Essex 2001 53.42% 6,107 41,208 358 Completed earthwork on a 32km bypass on Anglesey
42 The Miller GroupHousebuilder & construction services Edinburgh 2001 53.19% 33,300 547,700 1,517 Isle of Skye bridge builder also constructs 2,000 homes a year
43 Murray InternationalConglomerate Edinburgh 2002 51.96% 17,890 221,474 1,534 Founder retires as Glasgow Rangers chairman to focus on business
44 P D HookPoultry producer Oxfordshire 2001 50.92% 3,767 40,161 432 Oxfordshire poultry farm hatches 4m eggs a week
45 Millwood HomesHousebuilder Devon 2001 50.61% 3,108 13,768 101 Husband and wife awarded design prize for riverside project
46 Reeves Oilfield ServicesOilfield services provider Loughborough 2002 50.04% 12,552 38,221 434 Equipment is used to locate oil and gas in boreholes
47 Crown Crest GroupGrocery/FMCG wholesaler Leicester 2002 49.86% 8,865 142,901 80 At age 13 founder traded groceries in father’s Malawi warehouse
48 SophosSecurity software developer Oxfordshire 2002 49.58% 9,709 31,582 301 Designs software that fights 500 new viruses every month
49 John Fowler HolidaysCaravan park operator Devon 2001 48.52% 3,126 13,100 373 Former merchant seaman runs 14 West Country holiday camps
50 Burgess GroupPet food maker North Yorkshire 2001 47.87% 4,171 14,258 100 Family-run flour miller now produces Supa pet food
51 The RangeDiscount retailer Plymouth 2002 47.03% 3,073 32,739 404 Operates eight The Range discount stores in southern Britain
52 Morris HomesHousebuilder Merseyside 2002 46.93% 13,386 101,929 281 Builds one-bedroom flats as well as six-bedroom mansions
53 Berry Bros & RuddWine and spirit merchant Central London 2002 46.35% 7,741 168,774 287 Seventh-generation wine merchant also owns Cutty Sark whisky
54 CostcutterConvenience store operator York 2002 46.27% 5,276 360,373 1,023 Runs franchise network of 1,300 stores in UK, Ireland and Poland
55 ArupDesign and engineering consultancy Central London 2002 45.40% 14,703 402,696 6,132 Engineered Sydney Opera House, Millennium Bridge and Eden Project
56 The Best ConnectionRecruitment consultancy Birmingham 2001 44.96% 3,547 57,946 253 36 UK branches process more than 6,000 timesheets every week
57 WR RefrigerationRefrigeration engineer Leicester 2002 44.42% 5,561 64,106 571 Ex-Tory MP sold majority shareholding to management in October 2002
58 AYHConstruction consultancy Central London 2001 44.37% 4,544 22,192 230 Project manager for Arsenal’s new 60,000-seat stadium
59 Anwyl ConstructionHousebuilder Rhyl 2001 44.30% 4,237 23,849 161 Family-run company that built 20 houses in 1990 now builds 250 a year
60 Ainscough Crane HireCrane hirer Wigan 2002 44.16% 7,880 55,210 812 Former scrap dealer builds Britain’s largest fleet of 600 mobile cranes
61 SynsealPVCu component maker Nottinghamshire 2002 43.66% 7,172 36,943 277 Manufactures 21,000km of PVC for windows each year
62 Alfred Franks & BartlettSunglasses supplier St Albans 2001 43.60% 3,934 26,899 49 Imports Winnie the Pooh and Barbie sunglasses
63 Vitacress SaladsWatercress grower Andover 2001 43.32% 3,789 63,361 813 Produces one million bags of salad a week for supermarkets
64 Weston HomesHousebuilder Hertfordshire 2002 43.31% 8,043 46,574 97 Building a complex of 352 luxury apartments in London’s Docklands
65 Jane NormanWomen’s clothing retailer Central London 2002 43.26% 10,706 43,778 438 £70m buyout in January funds expansion of 46-store chain
66 Barchester HealthcareCare home operator Southwest London 2001 43.23% 4,475 27,527 1,642 Founder starts company after failing to find home for elderly aunt
67 Municipal Hire ServicesVehicle hirer Bristol 2002 42.60% 5,779 31,636 201 Rents out 3,500 specialised vehicles for up to 15 years
68 Byrne GroupConcrete frame contractor Southwest London 2002 42.16% 9,966 123,497 389 Constructed the Great Glass House at Welsh National Botanic Gardens
69 ChartdaleHousebuilder Grimsby 2001 41.87% 4,911 19,482 67 Founded by management buyout from Alfred McAlpine in 1985
70 SchuhShoe retailer Livingston 2002 41.26% 5,051 51,770 558 Founder bought back company from receiver in 1990
71 Bewley HomesHousebuilder Hampshire 2002 40.83% 14,081 75,503 85 Founder led management buy-in of luxury homebuilder in December
72 DSM DemolitionDemolition contractor Birmingham 2001 40.77% 4,322 18,166 89 Demolished Milburn Stand at Newcastle’s St James’ Park stadium
73 Cooper Gay Swett & CrawfordInsurance broker Central London 2001 40.34% 5,116 24,098 276 Yacht insurance specialist has offices in Bahamas and Peru
73 Story HomesHousebuilder Carlisle 2002 40.34% 4,308 29,412 398 Company builds £4m warehouse for Pirelli
75 Paragon LabelsPackaging and label maker Lincolnshire 2001 38.99% 3,098 36,225 290 Manufactures labels for ready-to-eat supermarket food
76 GraphicElectronics maker Devon 2001 38.01% 3,780 8,890 149 Makes circuit boards for F1 teams, Boeing and Airbus
77 ExtecCrushing machinery maker Derbyshire 2002 37.76% 10,204 50,196 321 Irish brothers completed £56m management buyout in December
78 LK BennettWomen's fashion retailer Central London 2001 37.61% 3,272 17,467 229 Linda Bennett’s kitten heels and stilettos help chain grow to 32 stores
79 Beaverbrooks the JewellersJewellery retailer Lancashire 2002 37.57% 12,544 60,083 503 Third-generation family-owned jeweller runs 49 UK stores
80 Desmond & SonsClothing maker Londonderry 2001 37.47% 9,664 128,369 2,057 Has supplied clothes to Marks & Spencer for 60 years
81 GissingsBenefits consultancy Central London 2002 37.00% 7,077 28,774 272 Advises clients like Blockbuster on benefits for 7,000 British staff
82 Dove ValleyPoultry producer Derbyshire 2001 36.60% 4,084 55,625 599 Chicken breeder and processor has grown through acquisition
83 Sigma PharmaceuticalsPharmaceutical distributor Watford 2001 36.50% 4,608 133,369 179 Founder began company at back of chemist’s shop
84 Great Bear DistributionWarehouser and distributor Chester 2001 36.46% 3,159 33,613 429 Delivers more than 21,500 lorry-loads a year to Sainsbury
85 LakelandKitchen accessory retailer Cumbria 2001 36.45% 10,845 85,220 840 Founder’s three sons expand business to 25 stores nationwide
86 Bowie-CastlebankDry cleaner and film processor Glasgow 2001 35.60% 11,003 87,240 2,664 Runs 579 Munro Cleaners and Klick Photopoint stores in UK
87 Paul SmithFashion retailer and designer Nottingham 2001 35.57% 10,958 54,312 420 Counts Tony Blair and Daniel Day-Lewis among its clients
88 Blue Anchor LeisureCaravan park operator Lincolnshire 2001 34.67% 9,799 23,585 260 Fantasy Island leisure park in Skegness attracts 5m visitors a year
89 Fisher EngineeringStructural steel fabricator Northern Ireland 2001 33.98% 8,310 26,824 188 Produces 20,000 tonnes of structural steel a year
90 RWM Food GroupMeat product wholesaler Somerset 2001 33.94% 9,685 77,432 295 Meat supplier also runs only pub in Poundbury model village in Dorset
91 Carvill GroupHousebuilder Belfast 2001 32.76% 4,102 30,572 85 Builds homes for first-time buyers in Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow
92 The Automation PartnershipDrug equipment maker Hertfordshire 2002 32.68% 3,777 22,541 183 Makes robotic drug discovery equipment costing up to £10m apiece
93 WeldexCrane hirer Inverness 2001 32.58% 3,349 12,775 133 Hires out cranes weighing from 15 to 650 tonnes
94 Owen MumfordMedical device manufacturer Oxfordshire 2001 32.56% 4,110 23,217 315 Maker of plastic car parts now produces blood-testing equipment
95 Montgomery TomlinsonSoft furnishings maker Chester 2001 32.41% 3,027 32,545 844 Former cushion-factory owner now sells curtains in 750 outlets
95 BraveshireTextile maker Wakefield 2001 32.41% 5,414 31,989 312 Textile maker expands from carpets to insulation felt
97 Brett GroupBuilding materials supplier Canterbury 2001 32.20% 11,533 130,325 810 Family-owned company also operates five quarries in America
98 Richard GreenFine art dealer Central London 2002 31.65% 10,013 56,815 21 Galleries’ stock includes works by Sisley, Turner and Canaletto
99 GAP GroupPlant and tool hire Glasgow 2002 31.15% 6,332 34,082 466 Claims to be Britain’s largest independent plant hirer
100 Higgins GroupHousebuilder Essex 2002 31.07% 10,512 114,202 441 Founder and three sons run Essex building group