South Tyneside's Barbour makes list of top growing firms

Company chairman Dame Margaret Barbour
Company chairman Dame Margaret Barbour

South Tyneside's Barbour Clothing has been hailed as among the country's best for its size.

The firm features on the 12th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table, which ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales.

Barbour's £167million a year sales see it placed 160th on the list.

The business is one of six companies headquartered in the North East to make the table, with combined sales up 17% to £1.5bn, operating profits up 21% to £179m. and employing 11,200 people between them.

The biggest mid-market growth company in the region is Newcastle-based Parkdean Resorts, which also has the biggest profits. Sales grew 8% to £401m while profits grew 16% to £107m. The company employs more than 5,000 people at its 73 holiday parks nationwide, attracting 2m holidaymakers each year.

Sunderland's Paragon, Middlesbrough-based chemicals logistics firm Bulkhaul and food & drink wholesaler Kitwave, based in North Shields, are all new to the list, while Sunderland's Hays Travel completes the region's presence.

The companies in the North East appear with businesses from around the UK, including Arsenal, Dr Martens, Nando’s, Skyscanner and Wagamama.

The league table and awards programme is sponsored by Grant Thornton, and compiled for the 12th year by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events company.

Andy Wood, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, praised the companies for their performance: "In the wake of the EU referendum it is more important than ever that businesses, and the public and the third sectors work together to help the UK to build on its strengths and ensure that the economy continues to grow.

"I am heartened to see how these businesses are embracing a collaborative approach to drive prosperity throughout the UK and wider society."