Even amid Covid-19 many of the leading SME`s in Northern Ireland have shown great resilience and have seen a rise in profits over the course of the year. Looking at data from the Next 200, which is a list of companies showcased and sponsored by KPMG that they believe have the ability to break into the top 100, it shows that there has been sales growth of 1.4% during the last 12 months, with profits showing a much greater rise of 4%, to £684.9 million. Astonishing considering the tumultuous times that we are living through.
Unprecedented Challenges Over The Past Few Years
Jonathan Cushley, who is one of the figures that has been compiling the list, is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph about this listing, saying:
“A review of the current Next 200 listing shows a number of companies being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in certain instances significant decreases in turnover and subsequent challenges in profitability,
“The increase in sales by 1.4% to £8.66bn is in some ways encouraging – Northern Ireland’s businesses have experienced unprecedented challenges over the past number of years with the Covid-19 pandemic following on from the uncertainties generated by Brexit.”
Northern Ireland Businesses Dug Deep Against The Odds
In the same article Johnny Hanna, who is a partner at KPMG in Northern Ireland, is quoted saying:
“Last year offered little respite from the Covid-19 pandemic but Northern Ireland businesses once again dug deep against the odds.
“The latest Next 200 list reflects the resilience and optimism they have demonstrated while keeping the NI economy rolling, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“The Next 200 cohort collectively saw sales rise by 1.4% and profits by 4%, an impressive result by any standard but even more impressive given the headwinds companies have faced in the last two years.”
The Importance Of SME`s & Family Businesses
And the editor of Ulster Business, John Mulgrew, is also quoted, he said:
“This is arguably the first substantial list which considers the bulk of the Covid-19 period and subsequent restrictions, and thus, impact to the economy.
“But while there are some firms which have seen a substantial fall in sales, many others have witnessed sizeable increases in their top line.
“Overall, it’s a positive list and highlights both the resilience of our wide breadth of companies here and just how important SMEs and family businesses are to the Northern Ireland economy here.”