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Bringing the family business community together

Britain's Largest Family Firms 2017

25th July 2017 Paul Andrews

The 16th annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table supplement was published recently and featured some great family owned companies.

Further analysis of the businesses in the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 has enabled us to identify the top 25 family owned firms in the UK which have a combined turnover of £59.5 billion (the total combined turnover of all firms in the top 100 was £185 billion so the top 25 family firms represent 32% of the total).

These firms clearly dispel the myths that family firms are all small as they represent some of the largest companies in the UK.  Collectively, these firms employ 374,828 people too.

The largest family firm in the UK is the Swire Group.  The London-based business operates across the Asia-Pacific region and has interests in many sectors, including shipping, property, agriculture, cold storage and airlines — including a minority stake in Cathay Pacific. In addition it runs two Coca-Cola bottling plants in America and agreed to buy an additional plant in China last year. Barnaby Swire, 53, has been chairman of the family-owned business since 2014; his cousin Merlin Swire, 43, is deputy chairman and chief executive.

In addition, the list confirms the diversity of family businesses too with these firms operating across all sectors and regions too.  Research such as this clearly provides support for the continued development of the family business sector in the UK and shows that family firms are part of the real fabric of the UK economy, the engine room for growth and a sector that deserves all the support and recognition that it can get.

Rank Organisation Nature of Business Sales (£m) Location
1 Swire Conglomerate 7,961 London
2 Euro Garages Fuel 3,817 Blackburn
3 Arnold Clark Automobiles Car Dealer 3,662 Glasgow
4 Bestway Group Conglomerate 3,341 London
5 2 Sisters Food Group Food Producer 3,130 Birmingham
6 Pentland Group Brand Manager & Retailer 2,913 London
7 Dyson Applicance Manufacturer 2,510 Wiltshire
8 Laing O'Rourke Construction 2,354 Dartford
9 JCB Machinery 2,343 Staffordshire
10 Specsavers Retailer 2,270 Guernsey
11 Marshall Group Conglomerate 2,260 Cambridge
12 The Rigby Group Conglomerate 2,170 Stratford-upon-Avon
13 European Metal Recycling Recycler 2,020 Warrington
14 Arcadia Fashion Retailer 2,018 London
15 Shop Direct Internet Retailer 1,849 Liverpool
16 Bakkavor Fresh Food Producer 1,730 London
17 Clarks Shoe Retailer 1,655 Somerset
18 bet365 Online Bookmaker 1,653 Stoke-on-Trent
19 Home Bargains Value Retailer 1,603 Liverpool
20 Wilko Value Retailer 1,464 Nottinghamshire
21 Bibby Line Group Conglomerate 1,450 Liverpool
22 Wates Construction 1,442 Surrey
23 Willmott Dixon Construction 1,324 Hertfordshire
24 AF Blakemore & Son Food Distributor 1,282 West Midlands
25 Listers Motor Retailer 1,227 Stratford-upon-Avon

To see the full table of the largest private companies in the UK, please visit the website here

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