Fastest growing businesses in Surrey, Sussex & Kent revealed

02 October 2018

New research published today by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP reveals the top 100 fastest growing mid-sized businesses in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

  • Top 100 fastest growing companies in Surrey, Sussex & Kent contributed £4.5bn to the local economy and employed more than 23,000 people last year
  • Sales at these top performing companies grew by an average of 35% and profits by an average of 113% last year
  • Brighton-based Software testing company Ten10 Group is the fastest growing  with 190.36% sales growth
  • Surrey has the highest number of fast-growth companies with 38 compared to 34 in Kent and 28 in Sussex (West & East)

BDO’s Best in Business Top 100 & Ones to Watch league table, compiled in association with leading mid-market private equity firm LDC, ranks companies in the Southern Home Counties with the highest growth in sales over three years.

Sales at the top 100 companies - which include Surrey headquartered restaurant chain Giggling Squid and designer luxury leather goods brand Aspinal of London Group, as well as Kent’s car supermarket Big Motoring World - grew by 35% to a total of £4.5bn last year, as profits soared by 113%. Collectively, they employ more than 23,000 people.

These ambitious, fast growing companies represent the rich diversity of businesses in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, from well-established family-owned companies in traditional industry sectors, such as retail, manufacturing and construction, to market disruptors in creative media technologies.

Taking the top spot in the league table is leading software testing company Ten10 Group, with an impressive sales growth over three years of 190.36%. Sales at the Brighton-based business have gone from strength to strength reaching £22.6m in 2017. A change of strategy led to the company broadening its offering to provide consultancy services and setting up an academy in response to an increasing shortage of skilled software developers and testers.

This year’s league table includes 20 previous Best in Business winners, which have continued to outperform other companies in the region. Reigate-based digital marketing agency Jellyfish Group, next generation broadband equipment company Technetix Group in Albourne, and social intelligence company Brandwatch in Brighton are shining examples of home-grown success stories that have gone on to achieve national and international acclaim.

Surrey’s top performers

Surrey’s 38 top performing businesses recorded an impressive total growth last year of 54% in sales, generating revenues of £1.7bn and employing more than 8,900 people. Ranking highest in sixth place in the Top 100 league table is Beaufield Homes in Guildford, with an average annual revenue growth over three years of 77.96% and sales of £11.3m in 2017.  

Sussex’s top performers

Sussex’s 28 fastest growing businesses saw total growth of 28% in sales last year, generating £1.3bn and employing 5,170 people. Dominating first, second and third positions in the league table with an average annual sales growth over three years in excess of 170% are Ten10 Group, Inspiration Healthcare and B&CE Financial Services - provider of The People’s Pension.

Kent’s top performers

Kent’s 34 top performing businesses achieved total growth of 20% in sales last year, generating £1.4m and employing 8,923 people. Coming in fourth position in the Top 100 league table, with an average annual growth in sales over three years of 87.19%, is Markerstudy Insurance Services, previously known as Zenith Marque Insurance Services, in Sevenoaks. 

Ones to Watch

Rising stars include family owned companies as diverse as Amazon Filters, a manufacturer and supplier of microfiltration filter cartridges and housings, and Sendforhelp, an award-winning technology business which develops pioneering GPS personal safety alarms to provide 24/7 personal protection to more than 150,000 lone workers and people at risk.

Kevin Cook, Best in Business partner in BDO’s Guildford office, commented:

“These outstanding results reflect the tremendous base of aspirational, mid-sized companies in Surrey, Sussex and Kent. The Top 100 not only showcases these businesses’ entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to strive for success, but also provides a barometer for growth across the region – and it’s inspiring to see that the future is looking bright for many, despite the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.

Our Best in Business research seeks to recognise the exceptional performance of these fastest growing businesses while initiating dialogue to increase awareness of the challenges they face, and how together we can overcome them.“

Jonathan Caswell, origination director at LDC in the South, said:

“The South of England boasts some of the fastest growing businesses in the UK. Whether building a global reputation or accelerating sales growth, the businesses profiled here have shown they have the necessary determination to continue on an upward trajectory.

It’s an impressive list, highlighting the region’s credentials as a great place to do business and we’re looking forward to seeing how they develop in the near future.”



Note to editors

The Top 100 league table and Ones to Watch can be found 

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP provides integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world. 

Our clients are Britain’s economic engine – ambitious, entrepreneurially-spirited and high growth businesses that fuel the economy.  

We share our clients’ ambitions and their entrepreneurial mind-set. We have the right combination of global reach, integrity and expertise to help them succeed.  

BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 3,500 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP has revenues of £405m and is the UK member firm of the BDO International network.

BDO International
The BDO International network provides business advisory services in 158 countries, with 68,000 people working out of 1,400 offices worldwide. It has revenues of $7.6bn.

LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based companies seeking up to £100m of equity for management buy-outs, institutional buy-outs or development capital transactions. LDC has a portfolio of 90 businesses across the UK which collectively generates £5.5bn of revenues and employs in excess of 40,000 people. 

Investing in a broad range of sectors, LDC has particular experience in Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services. 

Over the last three years (2014-16), LDC has invested over £1bn of equity and generated exit proceeds of more than £2bn, and has committed to invest £1.2bn in UK mid-market businesses over the next three years.Recent transactions include investments with Mandata, Paladone, Precision Micro, Duncan & Todd, Lakelovers, Eque2, IP Solutions, Vista, Ensek and Stuart Turner.

LDC has a UK regional network with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.  

For further information, visit: 

BDO Contact

Tania Fensom
BDM BDO Gatwick & Guildford

Mob:  0758 3014651
Tel: 01293 848905
Email: [email protected]

LDC Contact

Rebecca Hart
Citypress on behalf of LDC

Mob: 07903 256 182
Tel: 0203 773 9543
Email: [email protected]