Rank Company Location Year end % annual profit growth Latest profits £000 Latest sales £000 Staff Comment
1 AFI-UpliftConstruction equipment supplier Wakefield 2006 114.24% 5,402 20,427 178 Its lifts carried lighting equipment for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture ceremony
2 Special Steel GroupSteel processor Sheffield 2007 107.99% 9,921 36,132 173 One of Sheffield’s oldest family-owned steel businesses
3 Gardline ShippingMarine science services provider Great Yarmouth 2007 101.82% 18,125 100,311 1,029 Owns a specialist vessel that patrols the Australian seas for illegal fishing
4 RobertsonConstruction services provider Stirling 2006 99.06% 15,666 193,770 826 Makes timber frame house kits costing from as little as £12,000
5 Affinity HealthcareHealthcare provider Cheshire 2006 97.34% 5,465 30,536 726 Duke Street Capital paid £75m for the company in a 2004 buyout
6 HydrasunOilfield services provider Aberdeen 2007 94.84% 5,540 43,473 317 Claims to have 3,000 clients across 51 countries
7 DoncastersEngineering components maker Burton upon Trent 2006 91.41% 58,364 510,175 4,720 Makes parts for the championship-winning Ferrari Formula One car
8 ModusProperty developer and investor Manchester 2007 91.21% 8,136 44,047 168 Is branching into Europe with a contract to build a retail centre in Bucharest
9 Merlin EntertainmentsVisitor attraction operator Poole 2006 89.39% 35,921 190,344 3,617 Acquired Tussauds Group from Dubai International Capital for £1billion in 2007
10 Reservoir GroupOilfield services provider Aberdeen 2006 87.12% 4,993 16,327 87 Its equipment has cored a distance of more than 11 times Mt Everest’s height
11 International PlywoodTimber merchant Gloucester 2007 85.66% 4,399 55,409 40 Delivers over 20,000 tonnes of products to timber merchants every month
12 Simons GroupBuilding contractor Lincoln 2007 85.28% 8,249 260,580 589 Aims to ensure that women will make up half its workforce by 2011
13 Independent Forgings & AlloysMetal products manufacturer Sheffield 2007 84.40% 3,714 20,092 117 Its forgings can range in weight from 1kg to 9 tonnes
14 Springfield PropertiesHousebuilder Moray 2007 83.42% 3,919 27,846 211 Sponsors a young entrepreneur competition in Scotland
15 WDSGlobalWireless services support provider Poole 2006 82.74% 3,440 35,067 703 Claims to help set up a mobile phone every three seconds in the Middle East
16 Langley HoldingsEngineering equipment maker Nottinghamshire 2007 82.55% 40,674 337,700 2,399 Its systems keep airports and hospitals running when mains power fails
17 Longleat EnterprisesTourist sites operator Wiltshire 2006 80.93% 3,311 17,074 413 Claims that Longleat was the first safari park outside Africa
18 Wall EngineeringConstruction engineer Norfolk 2007 79.98% 3,933 15,296 62 Supplied steel frames for the barracks at Colchester garrison
19 Bowes Of NorfolkPig producer Norfolk 2007 79.37% 4,669 72,393 638 Takes part in the RSPCA’s Freedom Food animal welfare scheme
20 Wedge Group GalvanizingGalvanizer West Midlands 2007 78.69% 13,254 98,072 961 Galvanised metal for the PepsiMax ride at Blackpool and the Eden Project
21 Suttons GroupLogistics & supply chain services Cheshire 2007 77.60% 3,391 84,245 590 Founded as a horse-and-cart coal delivery service in the 1920s
22 Designers GuildFabric designer Central London 2007 76.74% 3,572 37,376 230 Brother and sister team claim to process more than 400,000 orders a year
23 M & M (MK)Wholesalers and property developer Milton Keynes 2007 74.56% 4,778 16,085 22 Founder started in business with £1,000 and a market stall
24 Move with UsResidential property broker Cambridgeshire 2007 74.41% 3,068 17,421 156 Despite housing down-turn, expects a 30% increase in profits in 2008
25 Morgan HuntRecruitment agency Central London 2007 74.28% 4,674 54,963 112 Recruits for up to 1,000 public sector vacancies at any one time
26 McLaren ConstructionBuilder Essex 2006 74.19% 4,161 71,008 88 Built the theme park Dickens World in Kent
27 Craig GroupShipping and energy services group Aberdeen 2007 73.07% 18,710 137,148 1,415 Its emergency rescue ships have saved more than 70 lives in the North Sea
28 Tangent TradingScrap metal trader Finchley 2007 72.95% 7,765 214,573 9 Claims to trade about 100,000 tonnes of scrap metal a year
29 RBGEnergy services provider Aberdeen 2006 72.60% 14,006 226,570 2,707 Helped BP repair its 250-mile gas pipeline in the North Sea
30 epyxE-trading platform developer Coventry 2006 71.79% 3,759 9,098 71 Says it processes about £100m worth of invoice transactions a month
31 EdenbrookSystems integrator Central London 2006 71.10% 3,824 22,682 138 Is expanding in India to provide outsourced IT services
32 Axell WirelessWireless communications provider Buckinghamshire 2006 69.29% 4,972 18,614 188 Its products boost telecoms signals in tunnels, airports and train stations
33 Titan AirwaysAirline Stansted Airport 2007 69.03% 8,652 48,060 200 Its round-the-world trips visit Easter Island, the Falklands, China and Tahiti
34 Richmond GroupFinancial services provider Bournemouth 2007 68.36% 6,003 12,286 181 Says it deals with more than 8,000 loan applications a week
35 Fat FaceClothing retailer Hampshire 2007 68.26% †22,180 109,001 1,604 Grown in value from £10m to £360m in just six years, but highly leveraged
36 INEOSChemicals manufacturer UK/Switzerland 2006 67.93% 726,829 18,124,631 11,987 Founder is one of the wealthiest men in Britain, according to Rich List
37 StemcorSteel trader Central London 2006 67.85% 87,832 3,308,286 881 Employs almost 1,000 people across six continents
38 The Money CentreBuy-to-let mortgage brokers Norwich 2007 67.73% 4,672 21,452 100 Claims to have processed over £2billion worth of mortgages in 2007
39 ActeonSubsea services provider Norwich 2006 67.54% 20,759 121,507 566 Services range from mooring oil platforms to decommissioning them
40 Seymour PierceInvestment bank, stockbroker Central London 2006 65.85% 8,115 27,781 104 Advised bidders on the sale of Aston Villa, West Ham and Derby County
41 Prestige FinanceSecured loans provider Hertfordshire 2006 65.74% 4,427 6,502 47 Completed more than 2,500 secured loan applications last year
42 LighterLifeVery low calorie food provider Essex 2006 65.72% 4,503 17,971 66 Claims to have helped more than 60,000 obese people lose weight
43 RPVValve distributor Bury St Edmunds 2007 65.61% 10,140 21,622 27 Products range from small valves to those 17ft tall and weighing 9 tonnes
44 Addison LeeMinicab and courier services provider Central London 2007 65.24% 15,204 72,077 446 Says you are always within 250m of one of its cars in central London
45 Firth RixsonAerospace manufacturer Sheffield 2007 65.11% 75,000 492,800 1,760 Changed hands last year in a £945m deal backed by Oak Hill Capital
46 Sir Robert McAlpineConstruction contractor Hertfordshire 2006 64.44% 39,245 1,230,348 2,543 Forms part of a joint venture helping to build the 2012 Olympic stadium
47 Special Piping MaterialsPipes and fittings supplier Manchester 2006 64.09% 3,899 24,846 21 Plans to expand into China this year
48 William Hare GroupStructural steel engineer Bury 2006 63.87% 11,178 159,085 1,170 Fabricates more than 100,000 tonnes of steel structures a year
49 SpreadexSpread betting operator St Albans 2007 63.31% 11,556 23,518 66 Rewards new customers with a bottle of champagne
50 Tom Martin & CompanyScrap metal merchant Preston 2006 63.07% 3,417 43,273 56 Founder started the company in a rented air raid shelter after the war
51 Modus GroupProperty services provider Central London 2006 62.42% 3,347 63,682 136 Blue-chip clients include Imperial College, the Belgian Embassy and Fujitsu
52 Virgin MoneyBank Edinburgh 2007 62.01% 20,608 77,794 220 Claims that someone applies for a Virgin credit card every 24 seconds
53 WSHCatering & restaurant business Reading 2006 61.53% 7,460 144,952 3,964 Employs Michelin-starred John Campbell as consultant chef
54 Aston MartinSports car maker Warwickshire 2006 61.21% 58,827 515,370 1,426 Voted Britain’s coolest brand in both 2006 and 2007
55 Wood MackenzieEnergy research consultancy Edinburgh 2006 60.87% 18,534 61,537 401 Former stockbroker has reinvented itself as energy researcher and consultant
56 Apex Stainless FastenersFastener maker, distributor Rugby 2006 60.85% 3,840 17,350 98 Says it sells 60m stainless nuts, bolts and screws a month
57 Frontline BathroomsBathroom products importer West Yorkshire 2006 60.67% 3,374 17,500 74 Sells a £3,795 double bath with built-in television
58 Gladman DevelopmentsCommercial property developer Cheshire 2007 60.30% 37,520 151,930 33 Has built a warehouse that could hold a shoebox for every person in Britain
59 EAT.Sandwich shop operator Wembley 2007 59.65% †3,837 48,428 971 Moroccan root vegetable soup with charmoula is one of its bestsellers
60 Euro GaragesFuel forecourt operator Blackburn 2007 59.46% 4,892 159,373 405 Sandwich firm Subway and supermarket Spar run franchises on site
61 NP AerospaceProtective equipment maker Coventry 2006 59.45% 10,090 43,623 190 Sells armoured cars to security services and bulletproof vests to the army
62 JCBConstruction equipment manufacturer Staffordshire 2006 59.37% 105,900 1,664,100 5,921 Gave a £1,000 Christmas bonus to 5,500 British staff to mark a record 2007
63 Hagan HomesHousebuilder Northern Ireland 2006 59.19% 6,096 24,355 39 Has built more than 2,000 starter homes, mostly on brownfield land
64 TechnetixTelecoms equipment maker West Sussex 2006 59.08% 4,336 38,137 132 May consider a flotation to raise money for acquisitions
65 Collins ConstructionFit-out contractor Croydon 2007 58.43% 3,517 25,239 39 2m sq ft of fitting out and refurbishment completed in the past two years
66 The Nuttall GroupDisplay cabinet manufacturer Leicestershire 2007 57.74% 3,113 45,715 404 Oversaw a £4.5m refit of Fortnum & Mason for its 300th anniversary
67 T-MetMetal recycler Northern Ireland 2006 57.73% 3,328 17,327 43 Handles 2,000 tonnes of scrap metal a week
68 Nova LaboratoriesMedicinal product provider Leicester 2007 57.73% 3,694 10,617 121 Founded by a group of former NHS pharmacy staff
69 HT DrinksDrinks wholesaler Northwest London 2006 57.65% 3,307 119,082 44 Says it sells £119m worth of alcohol and soft drinks a year
70 Sunseeker InternationalYacht builder Poole 2007 57.52% †15,250 27,851 1,874 Its £5m Predator motorcruiser takes a leading role in Casino Royale
71 Henderson Insurance BrokersInsurance broker Leeds 2007 57.30% 3,498 11,335 168 Its biggest premium to date was £2m on a Scottish PFI project
72 Think MoneyFinancial services provider Manchester 2007 57.27% 9,829 37,113 506 Claims to have helped 100,000 people struggling with debts
73 Alfred H KnightCommodity assayer Merseyside 2007 57.14% 3,753 25,274 872 Hired by buyers and sellers worldwide to test the purity of precious metals
74 MandaleProperty developer Stockton-on-Tees 2007 56.80% 3,228 40,422 55 Customers range from Yorkshire Bank to the NHS and regional police forces
75 Towergate InsuranceInsurance underwriter and broker Maidstone 2006 56.58% 45,636 237,587 2,545 Had made 139 acquisitions by its tenth anniversary in 2007
76 Rydon GroupBuilding contractor East Sussex 2007 56.56% 18,787 168,756 563 Chief executive Bob Bond led a £100m management buyout in 2006
77 Caffè NeroCoffee house operator Central London 2007 56.32% 12,051 108,819 2,239 Caffè Nero coffee is an Italian blend made of seven different beans
78 John Laing PartnershipHousebuilder and developer Elstree 2006 55.65% 3,765 76,018 168 Its regeneration work provides construction training for the unemployed
79 GladedaleHousebuilder Dunfermline 2006 55.16% 120,451 644,025 1,325 Bought two publicly-traded competitors, Country & Metropolitan and Furlong
80 MX TelecomWireless technology developer Chiswick 2006 54.91% 6,405 45,199 36 Its technology allows the streaming of Big Brother live to mobile phones
81 Search ConsultancyRecruitment consultancy Glasgow 2006 54.87% 4,183 102,494 506 Says it filled 55,000 job vacancies in 2006
82 GreencellFresh produce distributor Dartford 2007 54.53% 3,897 45,530 94 Says it supplies 120m pieces of fruit a year to primary school children
83 Kinleigh Folkard & HaywardEstate agency Wimbledon 2006 53.73% 8,792 52,618 657 Its company logo is emblazoned across 150 black cabs in London
84 TIS GroupEndowment policy reseller Edgware 2007 53.36% 15,910 290,665 105 Is looking to raise £50m through a share placing on AIM
85 GRAHAMConstruction contractor County Down 2007 53.25% 5,388 143,402 607 Founded in 1878 and still owned by the Graham family
86 LoganairAirline Paisley 2007 53.18% 3,648 48,891 312 Runs the world’s shortest scheduled flight — a 2 minute hop in the Orkneys
87 Applecross PropertiesHouse builder Edinburgh 2006 52.85% 6,494 46,627 5 Its luxury three-bedroom apartments in Edinburgh sold for £1.9m each
88 Fresh DirectFood wholesaler Bicester 2006 52.01% 3,087 74,213 397 Says it takes up to 30,000 orders per week
89 FircroftTechnical Recruitment Specialist Warrington 2006 51.00% 6,707 162,770 157 Has offices in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Angola
90 KeltruckTruck dealer West Bromwich 2006 50.97% 4,270 105,116 472 Advertised a part-exchanged Sea Harrier on eBay in 2006
91 CHAPBuilder and civil engineer Aberdeenshire 2007 50.78% 3,666 40,404 286 Is considering building an eco-village on its quarry site
92 MaximuscleSports nutrition supplier Watford 2007 50.61% 5,387 20,957 47 Says its customers go to the gym at least three times a week
93 ESRI (UK)Software developer Aylesbury 2006 50.54% 7,085 53,234 433 Developed a weather warning system for Wimbledon tennis with the Met Office
94 ACISTransport software developer Buckinghamshire 2007 50.50% 5,444 26,186 155 Sends bus passengers 3m text messages a year with travel information
95 TagDesign and production agency Central London 2006 50.13% 6,327 60,057 508 Adapted the European marketing campaign for a Harry Potter computer game
96 Principal SearchExecutive search company Central London 2006 49.92% 4,047 9,740 31 Recruits investment bankers on packages from £150,000 to tens of millions
97 QservOilfield services provider Aberdeen 2006 49.75% 4,197 23,865 183 Set up by a serial entrepreneur and his three Irish brothers
98 Drive AssistCar lessor Tamworth 2007 49.69% 33,628 100,207 1,340 Bought by Charterhouse for a reported £250m last year
99 Argus MediaEnergy information provider Central London 2007 49.47% 5,381 18,889 203 Clients range from the American government to Goldman Sachs and Reuters
100 HillHousebuilder Waltham Abbey, Essex 2006 49.44% 4,348 62,535 108 Regenerated an estate for Tower Hamlets Community Housing