Buoyant companies well placed to tackle fallout from Brexit

Masteroast, of Peterborough, which has been named as One to Watch in the Cambridgeshire Ltd report.
Masteroast, of Peterborough, which has been named as One to Watch in the Cambridgeshire Ltd report.
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Leading businesses in Peterborough are well placed to tackle any fall-out from Brexit, according to a new report.

Companies have been investing in staff, equipment and acquisitions over the last year in moves that will help businesses weather tough times.

Paul Brown of Grant Thornton.

Paul Brown of Grant Thornton.

It has left experts confident that companies will still be successful even when faced with a hard, soft or in-between Brexit.

Their optimism is based on the annual Cambridgeshire Ltd 2016 survey of the condition of the county’s 100 largest firms based on turnover.

It reveals that in total the top firms have seen turnover rise by 1.6 per cent over the year to £10.3 billion.

Earnings before tax and depreciation have dropped by 7.5 per cent to just over £1 billion.

However, the report states: “Much of this is due to increases in people costs, which are up four per cent as companies choose to invest in more people.

“This demonstrates confidence to invest for the longer term.”

The value of fixed assets has risen by 14 per cent to £437 million and much of this is the result of business acquisitions.

The report states: “Cambridgeshire Ltd continues to accumulate profits and generally the balance sheet is very strong.”

Although the survey was carried out before the referendum in June this year, the EU ballot was clearly in sight.

Paul Brown, director of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton, which carried out the survey, said: “All the economic indicators were stable and this was despite the uncertainty that was on the horizon with the referendum.

“Firms have used their profits wisely and have invested in people, equipment and have strengthened themselves with acquisitions.

“I expect to see businesses that have invested well will be in a good position to deal with the challenges that could happen.

“It will be tough, but I am confident businesses generally are in good shape. They are confident they can cope with everything the future will throw at us.

“Next year will be interesting but it will take a number of years for Brexit to play out.”

Alongside the top 100 largest firms, Grant Thornton has also drawn up a Ones to Watch list.

Fifteen of the 25 are from Peterborough and the surrounding area and shows the strength of the business environment.

They are: Cambridge Maintenance Services Limited, Acrabuild (Anglia) Limited, One Call Recruitment Limited, LDA 2014 LLP, Pico Technology (Holdings) Limited, Norfolk Free Range Limited, Flocklynn Limited, Masteroast Holdings Limited, LH Holdings Limited, International Direct Packaging Limited, London Internet Exchange Limited, Fencor Packaging Group Limited, Eacs Limited, Firstan Holdings Limited and The I.S. Group Limited.

In a separate list of the Top 25 for profit growth companies, 15 are from in and around Peterbough.

They are: Baker Perkins Ltd, Lawrence David Ltd, Creightons PLC, Mick George Limited, Magdalene Holdings Limited, M.J.S. Construction (March) Limited, TOY Brokers Holdings Limited, Chiltern Cold Storage Group Holdings Limited,Car World (Cambs) Ltd, Princebuild Holdings Limited, Eagle Foods Ltd, AK Retail Holdings Limited, Secure Group Limited, Vital Recruitment Limited and P.C. Howard Limited

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