Posted on Tuesday 2 April 2019 by John Mulgrew

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Northern Ireland’s leading small and medium-sized businesses have seen a 8.5% surge in sales in the last year, Ulster Business can reveal.

The Next 200 is Ulster Business’s showcase of SMEs based across Northern Ireland, and follows directly on from the Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list, ranking firms based on turnover from the latest filed accounts to Companies House.

Turnover growth has surged among the businesses this year, adding up to £8.3bn across the 200, with this list of companies increasing turnover by 8.5%, year-on-year.

John Lavery of Grant Thornton, who helped analyse and compile the list, said: “The Next 200 is a fascinating insight into Northern Ireland business.

“The list is a broad mix of household names and less well-known companies that are delivering over £8bn in turnover and employment for more than 26,000 people.

“These firms are the life blood of the NI economy, operating across the whole of NI and across a broad range of sectors.

“The combined turnover of this group of firms is 8.5% higher than a year previous.

“This performance is all the more impressive when we think of the Northern Ireland economy as a whole, where aggregate turnover across all companies declined. With the pace of growth from some of the companies within the Next 200, it will not be long before they are knocking on the door of the Ulster Business Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list.”

Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew said: “The Next 200 highlights the range of companies that operate across Northern Ireland, from the very familiar brand names to businesses which operate below the radar.

“But they all play a very important part in the economy here, employing anywhere between a handful of staff, to hundreds and in to four figures.

“The full table shows the majority of businesses have witnessed a rise in turnover, while profits after tax across the 200 were close to £500m.

“Nine out of 10 companies reported a profit, with the average margin at 6% of turnover.”

Some of the largest increases in turnover included Fermanagh firm Ready Egg Products, rising from £42.5m to £64.4m, based on company accounts.

Meanwhile, recycling business RiverRidge saw its turnover rise from £34.5m to £49.9m.

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