Mid-sized businesses outperform FTSE and smaller businesses

Mid-sized businesses outperform FTSE and smaller businesses

  • Mid-sized businesses grew revenues by 12% in the last year to £1.5tn
  • FTSE 350 businesses grew revenues by 10%, while smaller businesses saw a reduction of 36%
  • The mid-market was the only segment to see job growth in the last year, with 8 million now employed, accounting for one in four UK jobs

The UK’s mid-sized businesses have outperformed the FTSE 350 and smaller businesses in the last year, according to new research from accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO.

Despite a challenging economic climate, mid-market businesses with revenues between £10m and £300m, AIM listed, and private equity owned businesses, what BDO calls the economic engine, grew turnover by 12% in the last year, to £1.5tn. This compares to overall turnover growth of 10% for FTSE 350 businesses and a reduction of more than a third (36%) in turnover for smaller businesses, defined as those with less than £10m in revenues.

Mid-sized businesses also demonstrated resilience in employment levels, reporting an increase in jobs of 1% in the last year. This brings the total number of employees to eight million, accounting for one in four UK jobs.

In comparison, FTSE 350 businesses saw the total number of employees fall slightly by 1%, to five million. Smaller businesses recorded a reduction of 15% with the number of employees dropping to two million.

Turnover growth in the mid-market varied between regions and sectors. In London, turnover in mid-sized business grew by 17% in the last year. In comparison, mid-sized businesses in the North East experienced smaller turnover growth of 9%.

These variations in regional growth are likely to be impacted somewhat by the performance of certain sectors. Businesses in the London-centric financial services sector grew turnover by 47%, whereas mid-sized manufacturers grew turnover by 7% in the same period.

Job growth also varied between regions and sectors, with job creation from mid-sized businesses highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, increasing 4% in the last year. Mid-sized businesses in the North West however, saw jobs decline by 1%.

Paul Eagland, Managing Partner of BDO commented:

The businesses that make up the UK’s economic engine have remained incredibly resilient over the last few years, despite facing major hurdles including Brexit, the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and now the threat of a recession.  

“Some of the targeted announcements in the Chancellor’s Budget will have been welcomed by business leaders, but many believe the policies have not gone far enough to create real economic growth.

“Policymakers should not underestimate the value of the UK’s economic engine. Despite accounting for less than 1% of firms overall, they are ambitious and entrepreneurial, providing one in four jobs, and over £1tn in revenues. With the right support, their growth will be the driving force behind the UK’s economic recovery at a time when we need it the most.”


Summary of key findings

Market segment

Turnover latest year

Turnover growth one year increase

Number of employees latest year

Employee growth one year increase

Economic engine

(£10M - £300M Turnover, OR PE-Owned, OR AIM Listed)



8 million


FTSE 350



5 million


Small businesses (<£10M turnover)




1.6 million



Note to editors

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

The organisations we work with are Britain’s economic engine –entrepreneurially-spirited, high-growth businesses that fuel the economy.  

We understand the ambitions and entrepreneurial mindset of those we work with and have the global reach, integrity and expertise to help people and businesses succeed.  

BDO LLP operates in 17 offices across the UK, employing 7000 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO international network.

BDO’s global network
The BDO global network provides business advisory services in 164 countries and territories, with 111,300 people working out of 1,803 offices worldwide. It has revenues of US$12.8bn.  


Emma Ordidge
PR Manager 
Email: Emma.x.ordidge@bdo.co.uk