The leading SME’s in Northern Ireland seem to be in rude health right now, as a recent report by the Ulster Business Next 200 with Barclays has shown that their profits have risen by more than 50% in the last year, with sales up by 21.8% in the same period. Sales have grown to £9.62 billion compared to £7.91 billlion in the previous year. To add more gloss on these successful results only 17 of the 200 companies that were analyzed posted losses over the course of the last 12 months. These businesses seem to have put the dismal Covid-19 period firmly behind them.
Here’s what Jonathan Cushley, who compiled the Ulster Business Next 200 list, said about it in a recent article on the Belfast Telegraph website:
“For the past few years, the Top 100’s sister listing the Next 200 has allowed business owners to understand how companies below the top echelons are performing and provide an indication of companies making the step up to the Top 100 Companies listing,”
Northern Ireland Businesses Are Embracing Exporting
And speaking about the improving performance of Northern Ireland SME’s in the same article, Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking Northern Ireland, Barclays, said:
“What’s clear is that over the past few years, increasing numbers of Northern Ireland businesses are embracing exporting.
“The role of private equity (PE) in stimulating growth in our SMEs is worthy of highlighting.
“Last year was a record year for PE deals in Northern Ireland which bodes well for the continued growth of the Next 200.”
Showing Resilience And Stellar Results
And then finally, John Mulgrew, editor of Ulster Business, is quoted as saying:
“Much like the performance of our largest firms, this year’s cohort of SMEs have shown resilience and truly stellar results – posting the most significant increases in my time as editor.
“There are a host of household names making this year’s Next 200 list, from right across the sectors, along with a swathe of lesser-known businesses which showcase both the breadth and the quiet success of what is often referred to as the backbone the Northern Ireland economy – our SMEs.
“Some of the companies have been around for generations, while we are also seeing many burgeoning firms which were formed here less than 10 years ago.”
The health of the SME community in Northern Ireland bodes well for the future and could be a driver for the economy and for the upturn in fortunes of the whole country.