Top Track 100 - Britain's Top 100 private companies

Highlights from this year’s report

Now in its 17th edition, this year’s analysis shows how Britain’s top 100 private companies delivered a record combined sales of £205bn – and generated record profits (ebitda) of £23.5bn, employing 938,000 people, equivalent to 3% of the UK’s workforce.


Some of the highlights from this year’s report include:
  • Ninety of the Top Track 100 companies reported increased sales in their latest accounts. Combined sales are up 16% to £205bn.
  • Two thirds (67) grew their profits year-on-year, although 30 saw a fall in ebitda, and three chose not to disclose their profits. Total profits were up 10% to £23.5bn while margins at ebitda level fell 1% to at 11%
  • The companies employ a total of 938,000 people, 49,000 more than a year earlier
  • Total combined debt (including shareholder debts) among the 94 companies that disclosed figures is at least £100bn, resulting in an average debt multiple of five times ebitda. Sixteen of the companies have debt of more than £1bn, while 28 have debt of more than five times ebitda
  • Of the 10 companies with the highest profits, six have debt of more than £3bn and pay out a large proportion of their profits in interest. Four of the six are owned by private equity
  • Seven of the 15 new entrants operate in the services industry, and four each operate in manufacturing and retail.
  • Manufacturing is the sector that has grown the fastest, adding 31% to its total sales to reach £43.5bn
  • Services grew 16% to combined sales of £63.0bn
  • One third of the companies (33) are majority-owned by private equity, and private equity firms own minority stakes in an additional five companies
  • Of the 15 companies that left the table this year, three were sold, two floated and two went out of business
  • The companies on the first Top Track 100, published in 2002, had combined sales of £72bn and employed 704,000 people