Three Scottish companies make Britain’s fastest-growing private companies list

Richard Branson

Published this weekend, the 20th anniversary edition of the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.

The three companies in Scotland (compared to five last year) include one new entrant to the league table.

Their sales have grown by an average of 59% a year over three years to a total of £264m, and together they employ more than 1,000 people.

Scotland’s top-ranked company is Glasgow-based RHA, which is ranked No 54 nationally. The headphone designer’s high-end products are sold by the likes of Apple in its stores across the world.

RHA also sells its products on its website, direct to retailers and through local distributors in Europe, the US, and Asia. Driven by positive reviews in specialist magazines and websites, sales hit £6.2m in 2016.

Since the first league table was published in 1997, Fast Track 100 has featured many of Britain’s most successful companies. Past stars from Scotland include Glasgow-based City Refrigeration Holdings, which first featured in 2003 with sales of £94m, now has sales of £463m, and manages facilities for supermarkets such as Asda; bike apparel manufacturer Endura, based in West Lothian, which supplies clothing to Spain’s Movistar cycle racing team; and Edinburgh’s Hunter Boot, whose customers include the Queen and Kate Moss.

The Fast Track 100 is sponsored by Virgin, Barclays, BDO, BGF and Virgin Media Business, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, the title sponsor for all 20 years, commented:

“For 20 years, the Fast Track 100 has checked the country’s entrepreneurial pulse, and highlighted the best and brightest talents emerging from the UK – this year is no exception. When I started up in business almost 50 years ago, the word entrepreneur wasn’t really known. Now everyone knows entrepreneurs are the job makers and innovation stimulators of the world. More importantly, many, many more people want to join the club, and change business for good.”

Ordered by rank – private companies in Scotland with the fastest-growing sales

Rank

[2015 rank]

Company

Activity

HQ location Annual sales growth over 3 years Sales £m Staff Year end Comment
54 RHA

Headphone designer

Glasgow 64% *6.2 42 Mar 16 Apple sells this company’s headphones through its stores and website
64

[35]

BrewDog

Brewery

Ellon Aberdeenshire 61% 44.7 403 Dec 15 Has 53,000 investors worldwide after a crowdfunding appeal to support US expansion
94

[69]

T.O.M. Vehicle Rental

Commercial vehicle hire

Airdrie, North Lanarkshire 51% *213.2 575 Mar 16 Will supply 7,500 rentals a year to Scottish Power under a recent deal

‡ Financial year end of latest available accounts         * Supplied by company