AGENDA: Sales and profits rise as Peterborough companies shrug off uncertainty

Radical sports cars manufacturers at Ivatt Way, Westwood EMN-170707-145629009
Radical sports cars manufacturers at Ivatt Way, Westwood EMN-170707-145629009
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Determined businesses leaders in Peterborough are shrugging off political uncertainty and powering ahead piling up sales and profits.

This is the picture painted by new survey Cambridgeshire Ltd profiling the county’s 100 largest companies owned and managed in the county.

Thirty-one of the businesses on the list are from Peterborough city with 54 from the PE postcode.

The highest placed Peterborough company is leading digital supplier of insurance and household financial products, BGL Group, which is ranked fourth.

TV and internet shopping channel Ideal Shopping is placed in 15th position and commercial trailer manufacturers Lawrence David in 20th place. Construction experts Princebuild is in at number 36 with Baker Perkins in 38th position and engineers Avingtrans, of Chatteris, which is the new owner of Peter Brotherhood, in Peterborough, ranked 81st.

This year’s top 100 includes 22 new arrivals with Peterborough’s E-Leather (60th), Radical Sportscars (95th and pictured) and coffee makers Masteroast (97th) among the newcomers

Paul Brown, of accountants Grant Thornton, which drew up the report with law firm Mills & Reeve, said: “Businesses are generally profitable.

“Despite the recent hike in interest rates and the wobbly exchange rates, businesses have reacted positively and have been making profits.

Mr Brown added: “I think the local economy is well insulated against Brexit as many of our companies serve local or UK markets.”

Cambridgeshire Ltd highlights the strength of the Peterborough economy.

It shows the 31 Peterborough companies had a combined turnover of £1,928 million and generated a combined profit before deductions of £195 million - the largest profit margin as a percentage of turnover across the county.

Together the 31 firms have a workforce of 18,419 people with an average salary of £28,700.

In comparison, Cambridge city has 22 companies among the 100 providing a combined turnover of £3,864 million and a total profit of £325 million.

In total, those 22 firms employ 16,745 people with average pay at £47,400.

Mr Brown said: “We need to look at the county as a whole with Cambridge and Peterborough enjoying different strengths and requirements.

“I think to focus on just one area of the county would be the wrong thing to do. We need to look at how we develop the strengths in particular areas of the county.”

The issue of county growth was tackled at this week’s Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Economic Growth Conference.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of OP, said: “Although Peterborough and Cambridge have very different economies, both are experiencing significant phases of economic growth - which isn’t just limited to the cities, but across the area as a whole.

“The conference’s focus on the role of the Combined Authority highlighted how we can boost the whole of Cambridgeshire’s economy even further.”

by pooling talent and ambition to make more informed decisions on how and where to make investments and provide support.

“It should also help us identify challenges better and put more compelling cases forward to government for funding. “Collaboration is already happening across the area and we need to enhance this further to create an even more compelling environment for business growth and inward investment.”