Rank Company Location Year end % annual profit growth Latest profits £000 Latest sales £000 Staff Comment
1 Merlin EntertainmentsVisitor attraction operator Poole Dec 07 129.66% 127,400 484,200 8,531 Only Disney attracts more visitors each year
2 Graig Shipping GroupShip manager and owner Cardiff Dec 07 126.75% †14,131 †38,226 125 Sold its fleet of vessels during 2007 and 2008 for a large profit
3 Mount AnvilProperty developer and contractor Central London Dec 07 116.99% 6,743 65,669 88 Has donated about £250,000 to charitable causes in the past three years
4 McLaren ConstructionBuilder Essex Jul 07 113.79% 14,554 133,843 131 Its projects have included a £20m Asda store in Didcot in Oxfordshire
5 SMDSubsea engineering specialist Newcastle Dec 07 110.47% 6,798 40,502 71 Has sold machines to Boeing, AT&T and the Ministry of Defence
6 WatesConstruction contractor Surrey Dec 07 108.11% 28,841 948,695 2,212 Built education facilities for more than 7,000 students in 2008
7 Alliance MedicalDiagnostic imaging services Warwick Mar 08 105.56% 11,755 166,224 1,164 Says its equipment scans up to 100,000 patients each month
8 ActeonSubsea services provider Norwich Dec 07 104.46% 37,755 194,690 1,041 Services range from mooring oil platforms to decommissioning them
9 Giles InsuranceInsurance broker Central London Aug 07 102.50% 5,239 30,724 402 Claims to negotiate and purchase policies worth over £300m in premiums per year
10 United Agri ProductsAgrichemicals distributor Cambridgeshire Jul 07 101.99% †6,549 †96,957 243 Owns a network of weather stations used to help forecast pests and crop diseases
11 Dunlop Aircraft TyresAircraft tyre manufacturer Birmingham Dec 07 101.58% 4,194 25,353 281 Opening a tyre retreading facility in Jinjiang in China as part of a joint venture
12 M & K MacLeodHousebuilder Argyll May 08 98.87% 4,280 21,620 197 Helped to start a local construction college to train its apprentices
13 Reid SteelSteel construction specialist Dorset Mar 08 97.21% 4,056 34,822 119 Builds hurricane and tornado resistant structures for clients worldwide
14 FramestoreVisual effects maker Central London Mar 08 96.25% 5,623 57,026 724 Won the 2008 Oscar and Bafta awards for visual effects on The Golden Compass
15 Richmond GroupFinancial services provider Bournemouth Mar 08 95.55% 11,347 23,048 378 Has raised more than £300,000 for a local children’s hospice in the past 18 months
16 Reservoir GroupOilfield services provider Aberdeen Dec 07 94.34% †7,407 †22,948 113 Completed five acquisitions in 2008 to double the size of the company
17 Harkand GroupOffshore services provider Aberdeen Sep 07 93.19% 10,114 56,198 322 Has expanded into regions including the Caspian Sea, the Caribbean and Egypt
18 GreenergyFuel supplier Central London Mar 08 91.34% 18,705 1,724,677 76 Supplies fuel to customers such as Tesco, Total and transport operator First Group
19 Simply BizSupport services provider Huddersfield Dec 07 90.97% 4,237 10,665 85 Chairman previously founded and sold a business for £75m
20 RMJMArchitect Edinburgh Apr 08 89.57% 11,123 99,877 1,125 Won contract to design Qatar’s tallest building, a 74-storey ‘green’ tower
21 MandMDirect.comOnline discount retailer Herefordshire Feb 08 88.24% 8,548 74,068 378 Sells more than 200 brands, including Adidas, Bench, Nike and Timberland
22 JVM EquipmentIndustrial equipment supplier West Sussex Dec 07 86.94% 13,585 120,523 500 Claims to be JCB’s biggest distributor outside Britain
23 Tangerine ConfectioneryConfectionery manufacturer Blackpool Dec 07 86.56% 3,545 63,499 662 Makes classic retro sweets including Fruit Salads and Black Jacks
24 A&H Construction and DevelopmentsBuilder and civil engineer West Midlands Apr 08 86.32% 5,141 60,699 60 Projects include a £48m milk production facility for Wisemans Dairies in Somerset
25 Pure Leisure GroupHoliday park operator Lancashire Jan 08 86.13% 4,074 34,939 379 Hosts a charity ball each year and has raised more than £125,000 to date
26 innocentFruit drinks maker West London Dec 07 85.39% 11,113 113,193 236 Publishes a guide to wellbeing entitled ‘Stay healthy. Be lazy.’
27 BW InteriorsCommercial building refurbisher Central London Sep 07 85.14% 3,350 52,854 64 Recently completed a £5.1m refit of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s offices
28 Move with UsResidential property broker Cambridgeshire Mar 08 85.05% 3,303 27,900 201 Claims 1,000 estate agents put their properties on its website
29 The Remet CompanyMetal merchant East London Jun 07 82.17% 5,792 116,103 84 Subsidiary Avon Metals won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2007
30 BarbourClothing manufacturer South Shields Dec 07 79.83% 12,317 62,724 578 Barbour’s wax jackets can be returned to be rewaxed or repaired at any time
31 Capital ValvesValve distributor Wembley Dec 07 79.81% 5,993 35,077 26 Won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade in 2006
32 MiniclipOnline games developer Central London Dec 07 77.21% 5,778 19,161 14 Claims to be one of world’s largest online games site, with 43m users
33 GL HearnProperty consultancy Central London May 08 77.14% †3,743 †19,689 183 Bought land for High Speed 1, also known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link
34 AnsonOilfield equipment maker Gateshead Sep 07 76.81% 8,429 41,922 393 Its Gateshead manufacturing facilities cover a site bigger than 10 football pitches
35 Pret A MangerSandwich shop operator Central London Dec 07 76.22% 14,506 222,466 3,148 Gives millions of sandwiches to homeless charities every year
36 Boulting GroupEngineering services provider Warrington Oct 07 76.14% 4,936 77,928 618 Won a £10m contract last year for a new manufacturing facility in Lancashire
37 Foster + PartnersArchitectural consultancy Southwest London Apr 08 76.00% 34,589 142,432 1,163 Won the contract to build Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in New Mexico
38 Flow GroupValve manufacturer Sheffield Oct 08 75.93% 6,228 30,686 212 Products include water valves for military ships and submarines
39 William Hare GroupStructural steel engineer Bury Dec 07 75.70% 14,190 181,577 1,406 Has offices in Abu Dhabi and India to serve oil industry clients
40 ECU GroupCurrency manager Central London Dec 07 73.12% 4,525 9,143 34 The group’s chief economist writes a daily economic commentary blog
41 Hagan HomesHousebuilder Northern Ireland Jun 07 72.51% 8,342 21,986 39 Recently won an industry award for best brownfield land development
42 FK Roofing ServicesRoofing services provider Manchester Mar 08 72.38% 3,163 24,456 30 Sustainability initiatives include a £10m factory project in Lancashire
43 MavigaSpecialty crop supplier Kent May 08 72.08% 4,583 103,271 46 Sources and trades pulses and other speciality crops such as sesame seeds
44 Fortel ServicesConstruction contractor Wolverhampton Sep 07 71.23% 4,547 30,009 577 Its construction projects have included a shopping mall in Jalandar in India
45 Parkam Food GroupFood manufacturer West Yorkshire Dec 07 71.12% 3,978 94,292 833 Products include turkey pastrami and bramley apple ham
46 MulalleyConstruction contractor Essex Mar 08 70.14% 11,577 103,505 421 Clients include Islington council and the Camden School for Girls
47 HillHousebuilder Waltham Abbey, Essex Dec 07 69.82% 6,250 77,603 138 Is refurbishing its new HQ in historic Royal Gunpowder Mill in Waltham Abbey
48 bet365Online bookmaker Stoke-on-Trent Mar 08 69.78% †24,589 1,815,022 858 Offers odds on everything from the Premier League to the Oscars
49 RPVValve distributor Bury St Edmunds Jan 08 66.56% 16,176 29,181 30 Stocks valves and gaskets ranging in price from £10 to almost £200,000
50 Bond Aviation GroupHelicopter operator Cheltenham Mar 08 66.50% 6,836 62,656 299 Says the value of its fleet has grown from £5m to more than £200m in ten years
51 Dawnus ConstructionCivil engineering contractor Swansea Dec 07 66.41% 3,635 68,783 401 Has introduced a graduate scheme to train chartered engineers
52 Mountain WarehouseOutdoor equipment retailer Central London Feb 08 66.18% 3,773 20,207 305 Has opened 24 stores in the last year, including outlets in Inverness and Maidstone
53 Pentland GroupBrand manager and retailer Central London Dec 07 65.73% 62,781 972,600 12,768 Owns swimsuit brand Speedo, worn by Michael Phelps and Rebecca Adlington
54 Wood MackenzieEnergy research consultancy Edinburgh Dec 07 65.68% 25,649 79,651 508 Originally founded as a stockbroker in 1844
55 RP MartinWholesale money broker Central London Sep 08 64.18% 11,497 65,635 244 Claims to be the oldest money broker in the world, founded in 1922
56 Matchroom SportSporting events promoter Essex Dec 07 63.30% 3,637 13,223 31 Stages Prizefighter, a winner-stays-on boxing tournament, fought over one night
57 JoulesClothing retailer Leicestershire Jan 08 62.09% 3,220 22,225 187 Its website offers tips on growing vegetables and keeping chickens
58 RBGEnergy services provider Aberdeen Dec 07 61.84% 15,145 256,902 3,246 Is spending £5m on expanding its facilities in the Scottish Highlands
59 Aston CarterRecruitment agency Central London Mar 08 61.41% †6,560 115,434 191 Serves clients in 16 countries from 9 international offices
60 Greenshields JCBJCB equipment seller Surrey Dec 07 61.03% 3,587 90,669 179 Provides machine maintenance at Thames Water’s mobile water-treatment plants
61 VSGSecurity provider Northampton Mar 08 60.79% 4,151 92,927 4,000 Protected Leona Lewis at the 2008 opening of London’s Westfield shopping centre
62 Howie GroupTimber merchant Scotland Dec 07 60.69% 4,596 32,925 193 Says it operates the largest sawmill in Britain, processing 400,000 logs a year
63 LK BennettWomen's fashion retailer Central London Jul 08 60.12% 11,079 57,493 545 Opened its first shoe store in Wimbledon in 1990
64 Venn GroupRecruitment agency Central London Dec 07 58.80% 4,593 74,137 265 Founder Alexander Badenoch sold his previous recruitment business for £72m
65 The Car PeopleCar dealer Wakefield Apr 08 58.59% 3,102 136,899 387 Set up by brothers who had previously founded and sold a car franchise business
66 Erith GroupDemolition contractor Southeast London Sep 08 58.53% 4,195 61,474 175 Won the contract to demolish Lafarge’s cement works in Northfleet, Kent
67 Towergate InsuranceInsurance underwriter and broker Maidstone Dec 07 58.16% 76,198 268,931 3,299 Made 17 acquisitions in 2008, taking its total to almost 160 since it was founded
68 MardixSwitchgear manufacturer Kendal Mar 08 57.68% 6,586 26,517 173 Uses innovative 3D modelling techniques to design its products
69 WaremossPharmacy retail chain East Sussex Aug 07 57.34% 3,746 37,118 275 Runs 32 pharmacies across southeast England
70 Springfield PropertiesHousebuilder Moray May 08 57.16% 5,974 23,830 207 Recently agreed a 3-5 year contract with a local housing authority worth up to £50m
71 HamiltonsArchitectural consultancy Central London Oct 07 56.83% 6,026 19,471 194 Employs 160 people in its London studios
72 TIS GroupEndowment policy reseller Edgware Jun 08 56.77% †19,710 307,129 106 Claims to have sold endowment policies worth more than £1 billion
73 RadiusPlastic pipe manufacturer Derbyshire Dec 07 56.39% 12,011 120,746 531 In June 2008, 3i backed a £100m buyout from company’s Finnish parent
74 Pims GroupPump station service provider Hampshire Apr 08 55.51% 3,754 17,528 125 Provides rainwater harvesting systems that allow users to cut water bills by up to 60%
75 Neural TechnologiesArtificial intelligence software developer Hampshire Mar 08 55.27% 3,234 7,579 80 Says it protects one in seven of the world’s mobile-phone users from fraud
76 CPP GroupConsumer protection insurer York Dec 07 55.05% 26,575 225,239 1,685 Founder Hamish Ogston traded cocoa futures while still a student
77 LoganairAirline Paisley Mar 08 54.82% 4,271 52,801 349 Runs the world’s shortest scheduled flight: a two-minute hop in the Orkneys
78 Benson GroupPackaging products supplier Leicestershire May 08 54.71% 4,355 73,141 887 Supplies 5m pieces of sustainable packaging a day
79 SSPInsurance software provider Halifax Mar 08 54.66% 15,000 64,405 583 Delisted in a deal that valued the company at £198m in September
80 QHotelsHotel operator Leeds Dec 07 54.28% 22,682 123,035 2,034 Spent £7m refurbishing the Stratford hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
81 Thompson Motor CompanyCar dealer Preston Dec 07 54.11% 3,138 96,255 162 Audi dealership in northwest England also acts as a Volkswagen agent in Carlisle
82 BonhamsAuctioneer Central London Dec 07 53.96% 14,042 68,781 674 Sold a Korean jar in San Francisco for $4.2m last year
83 Blaze SignsRetail sign manufacturer Kent Mar 08 53.35% 3,518 22,214 284 Supplied 2.5 metre high neon lettering for Disney’s Paris Adventure Park
84 Farr VintnersWine merchant Southwest London Oct 08 52.73% 14,520 120,542 22 Founded in 1978 and now sells French wine in Britain and around the world
85 VelcourtFarm manager Herefordshire Sep 07 52.49% 3,111 21,321 112 Has an R&D team dedicated to innovations in crop and animal husbandry
86 OptilanTelecoms systems integrator Coventry Oct 07 52.45% 3,336 26,748 156 Designed and installed the Channel Tunnel Rail Link’s communication systems
87 Garrad Hassan GroupRenewable energy consultancy Bristol Apr 08 52.35% 4,907 20,335 222 Recently provided consultancy services to Europe’s largest onshore wind project
88 EcotricityGreen electricity supplier Gloucestershire Apr 08 51.85% 4,393 28,046 104 Says it is developing an electric sportscar
89 Noble DentonOffshore and marine consultancy Central London Dec 07 51.40% 8,165 49,315 341 Recently won a £15m contract to manage the installation of an offshore wind farm
90 Barwood DevelopmentsProperty developer Northampton Feb 08 51.33% 7,394 25,767 17 Developed a warehouse for Cadbury nine times the size of Trafalgar Square
91 Currie & Brown GroupConstruction consultancy Central London Sep 07 51.25% 4,526 63,336 852 Is overseeing the redevelopment of Broadcasting House for the BBC
92 Think MoneyFinancial services provider Manchester Jan 08 51.11% 12,564 48,313 595 Alchemy Partners led a £110m secondary buyout in July 2007
93 Virgin Rail GroupTrain operator Central London Mar 08 50.63% 73,077 840,736 3,968 Claims 4m people a year use its routes from London to Birmingham or Manchester
94 White StuffFashion retailer South London May 08 50.48% †8,868 †43,816 614 Its logo is a Chinese symbol meaning simply ‘clothes’
95 mydentistDental care provider Kearsley, Bolton Apr 08 50.09% 16,000 124,411 1,674 Says it cares for the teeth of more than 2m Britons
96 Findus GroupFood producer Central London Sep 07 49.81% 54,012 894,412 6,426 Says its Young’s Admiral’s Pie is Britain’s best-selling ready meal
97 Designers GuildFabric designer Central London Mar 08 49.45% 5,634 43,250 232 Claims to process orders for more than 6m metres of fabric and wallpaper a year
98 Collins ConstructionFit-out contractor Croydon Mar 08 48.86% 3,771 28,085 38 Company claims that 70% of its work is repeat business from existing customers
99 Van ElleEngineering contractor Nottingham Apr 08 48.60% 4,187 46,571 368 Currently assisting with the widening of the M1
100 Patersons QuarriesQuarry operator Glasgow Nov 07 48.20% 9,273 55,238 667 Managing director is the fifth generation of the family to run a business