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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Thames Valley SME 100 Growth Index 2022

The annual Thames Valley SME Growth 100 index recognises and promotes the region’s high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises, and is ranked by year on year growth.

To be included in the listing, businesses need to be based in the Thames Valley and to have grown their turnover significantly in the past year. The listing only includes independent, privately-owned companies, headquartered in the region, with a turnover of no more than £20m.

The 2022 edition of the Thames Valley SME Growth 100 index is sponsored by law firm Herrington Carmichael, commercial property consultants Hicks Baker and audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe UK

This year, more than half of the listing’s top 100 companies are newcomers, demonstrating the impressive growth that so many businesses have managed to achieve, particularly with so many newcomers appearing toward the top of the listing.

Top of the index this year is Oxford BioTherapeutics with a substantial growth of 154.5%. Based in Abingdon, this clinical stage oncology company has made great progress in the development of immunotherapies for cancer, focusing on ‘first-in-class immune therapies’ that aim to improve the outcomes for patients.

Though new to the listing, Porthaven Group, based in Windsor, takes second place. An independent company, this group specialises in building and operating ‘market leading care homes’ that offer ‘exceptional surroundings’, fine dining, and dementia care.

In third place is the Winnersh-based FullCircl, previously on the listing as Artesian Solutions, supporting businesses with customer lifecycle intelligence that will help to engage with customers to keep them on for life, encouraging its clients to ‘own the market’.

Despite being another newcomer, UK Land Group takes fourth place and exhibits the highest turnover statistics in the listing’s top 5. Based in Hungerford, this company owns properties throughout the UK and specialises in the acquisition of ‘privately and publicly owned property companies’ as well as venturing into land where there are perceived ‘medium to long term’ opportunities.

Fifth place is filled by yet another newcomer – The Hartley Wintney-based IMSL (Industrial Microbiological Services) provides a testing and consultancy service that specialises in the microbiology of materials. IMSL is customer and service driven, producing claims that are supported by ‘fully robust, scientifically and statistically sound data’.

The Business Magazine congratulates all the companies that qualified for this year’s TV SME Growth 100 Index.

Ranking

Published: 27 September 2022
2022 Company Town Description Turnover £m YoY Growth % Employees Year-end
1 Oxford BioTherapeutics Abingdon Clinical stage oncology 5.6 155 13 31/12/20
2 Porthaven Group Windsor Care Homes 6.5 150 146 31/12/20
3 FullCircl Winnersh Customer lifecycle intelligence platform 9.5 116 72 31/12/21
4 UK Land Group Hungerford Property aquisition & development 12.2 103 29 30/04/21
5 IMSL (industrial microbiological services) Hartley Wintney Testing & consultancy services 1.4 100 15 31/01/21
6 Square Health Windsor Health technology solution provider 11.5 95 59 31/03/21
7 Greens Catering Chalgrove Event caterer 9.6 92 4 31/03/21
8 Yospace Staines-upon-Thames Ad insertion solutions 12.6 80 39 31/12/20
9 Walker Logistics Reading Logistics provider 14.0 65 150 31/08/21
10 MEL Science Amersham DIY chemistry sets 14.6 64 10 31/12/20
11 M4 Recruitment Thatcham Recruitment agency 19.8 61 180 31/03/21
12 Metropolis Capital Amersham Investment management 6.1 56 11 30/11/21
13 Blue Apple Contract Catering Reading Catering services 7.9 52 218 31/03/22
14 Aurora Energy Research Oxford Analytic and advisory services 13.5 50 131 31/12/20
15 Bridewell Consulting Reading Cyber Security 13.8 48 170 21/04/22
16 Matrix Electronics Theale Electronics distributor 6.8 48 15 31/12/21
17 Puzzle Freight West Drayton Courier & logistics solutions 5.9 37 - 31/12/21
18 Inside Out Group Bicester Multi-trade construction 17.6 35 74 31/05/21
19 Hawkins Group of Companies Banbury Construction 27.4 35 89 30/09/21
20 Labcold Basingstoke Medical & scientific refridgeration 13.9 35 65 30/11/21
21 AYM Services Uxbridge Roofing contractors 15.3 34 - 30/09/21
22 Hazlemere  High Wycombe Double glazing fabricators 15.1 34 105 31/01/22
23 Deanfield Homes High Wycombe Housebuilder 16.3 34 17 31/03/21
24 Cyberfort Group Thatcham Cyber security solutions 19.1 34 126 31/12/21
25 Warner Surveys Theale Underground utility services 0.8 33 7 31/12/21
26 QHS (Quality Heating Services) High Wycombe Heating services  9.0 32 115 31/03/21
27 Bower & Bailey Witney Legal services 17.2 32 126 31/05/21
28 Charterhouse Muller UK Reading Secure IT asset disposal 2.1 31 20 30/06/21
29 Haes Technologies West Drayton Fire alarm system control manufacturers 1.8 29 17 31/12/21
30 GB Fleetcare Banbury Fleet maintenance 16.7 28 113 30/09/21
31 Country Estates Reading Office space & commercial property provider 8.7 28 36 31/12/20
32 GBR Technology Silchester Lubricant/fluid supplier 3.7 28 15 30/06/21
33 WG Carter Abingdon Specialists in the renovation and construction 19.2 27 69 30/09/21
34 Mar Facilities Management Binfield Facilities management 16.2 27 575 31/12/20
35 Aston Chemicals Aylesbury Speciality chemicals distributor 14.8 26 42 30/06/21
36 Oneplm Eynsham Digital software reseller 19.6 26 71 30/09/21
37 5G Communications High Wycombe Telecoms services 18.5 26 98 30/09/21
38 Glenholme Healthcare Eton Care services 13.3 25 415 31/03/21
39 FG Alden Kidlington Building service engineers 13.4 25 81 30/09/21
40 S4labour Banbury Labour management software 2.5 25 46 31/03/22
41 Gigaclear Abingdon Broadband provider 14.1 25 387 31/12/20
42 Ilecsys Group Princes Risborough Electrical distribution 16.2 25 75 30/06/21
43 Christopher Ward London Maidenhead English-Swiss watchmaker 13.2 25 59 31/03/21
44 bChannels Oxford Channel & partner network specialist 9.9 24 115 31/12/20
45 T A Fisher Theale Building & development 17.5 23 75 30/06/21
46 CIPHR Marlow Human resources software solutions 19.2 23 200 31/12/21
47 Hewland Engineering Maidenhead Gearboxes & component parts 9.2 23 101 31/08/21
48 Ktwo Aylesbury Manufacture of muck spreaders & trailers 9.8 23 87 31/12/21
49 Mediafleet Witney Vehicle branding 4.4 22 37 30/06/21
50 Meech International Witney Specialist manufacturing  15.7 22 107 30/09/21
51 Craft Buddy Chesham Art & craft trade supplier 6.8 21 24 31/12/21
52 Adamson Construction Slough Construction 7.4 21 47 31/03/21
53 Bauer Group Datchet Commercial property developers 6.3 21 24 31/12/20
54 Ecoserv Group Wallingford Sustainable FM Services 16.7 21 682 31/12/20
55 Arcum Theale IT products supplier 16.7 21 30 30/09/21
56 Frog Bikes Ascot Childrens bike manufacturers 12.9 19 73 28/02/21
57 Wingfield and Hodgkin Great Missenden Housebuilder 1.9 19 - 30/06/21
58 Rivar Group Thatcham Housebuilder 10.8 19 26 31/03/21
59 Avco Systems Slough Software developers 3.2 19 41 30/06/21
60 Jubilee Building Supplies Bracknell Builders merchant 5.3 18 19 30/04/21
61 Takesi t/a Nicholsons Oxford Forestry & gardening services 12.7 18 159 31/07/21
62 Sovrin Plastics Slough Injection moulding and manufacturing services 12.1 17 110 31/12/20
63 TBI Financial Services Reading Financial services 4.2 17 23 30/04/21
64 Greenfords Eversley Park homes and storage solutions 1.4 17 19 31/08/21
65 Bridgwater Bros Haslemere Masons tools and memorials 17.7 16 248 30/09/21
66 Acorah Software t/a TaxCalc Wokingham Accountancy software solutions 9.3 16 97 31/03/21
67 Birchman Group Hare Hatch Business consulting and IT services 15.2 16 23 31/12/20
68 Select Car Leasing Reading Car leasing 19.3 16 157 31/03/21
69 Cherwell Laboratories Bicester Microbiological products  7.5 15 78 28/02/22
70 Validus Risk Management Eton Risk management advisory 6.9 15 51 31/01/22
71 Courtiers Henley-on-Thames Wealth management 16.9 15 97 31/03/21
72 Ceta Insurance Chipping Norton Insurance broker 10.5 14 110 30/09/21
73 Langley Engineering Theale Voltage distribution equipment/accessories 3.3 14 6 31/03/21
74 Swift Group of Companies Newbury Courier 10.3 13 103 30/09/21
75 Berkshire Labels Hungerford Adhesive label printers 12.9 12 77 31/07/21
76 Buzz Gym Reading Gym 4.0 11 9 31/12/20
77 PRS Distribution West Drayton Distribution and storage 16.1 11 98 31/09/21
78 Strongbyte Solutions t/a VoCoVo Shipton-under-Wynchwood Communications solution provider 14.4 11 43 31/12/20
79 Drennan International Oxford Manufacturer of fishing tackle 11.6 10 67 31/12/20
80 Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering Carteton Mechanical, electronic, software specialists 6.4 10 49 30/06/21
81 Glazpart Banbury Plastic glazing accessories 10.0 10 83 31/05/21
82 MM Bellinger & Sons Wantage Motor dealerships 16.2 9 53 31/12/21
83 Vail Williams Reading Commercial property agents 16.9 9 149 31/05/21
84 Rankin Brothers & Sons Aylesbury Bottle closure manufacturer 13.4 9 53 30/04/21
85 BMG (Business Moves Group) Reading Removals and storage 11.4 9 103 31/10/21
86 New Model Venture Capital Gerrards Cross Investment solutions 3.1 8 5 31/12/20
87 Tax Systems Staines-upon-Thames Tax system solutions 15.5 8 90 31/12/20
88 Faulkners Arborfield Central heating specialists 10.4 8 61 30/06/21
89 Kosnic Lighting Newbury Lighting specialist 15.6 8 41 31/03/21
90 Monodraught High Wycombe Energy efficient systems manufacture & design 12.2 8 94 31/12/20
91 Shorts Group Bracknell Plant hire & demolition 15.5 8 124 31/05/21
92 Cognito iQ Newbury Software providers 11.9 7 123 31/12/20
93 EV (EValue) Newbury Financial Solutions 7.5 7 80 30/09/21
94 Pressbeau Stoke poges Care homes 4.4 7 101 30/06/21
95 X-Pharm (t/a Touchwood Pharmacy) Slough Pharmacy 16.2 7 145 31/03/21
96 Sunbeam Fostering Group Slough Fostering agency 18.7 6 102 31/03/21
97 Wolfram Research Long Hanborough Software products & solutions 10.5 6 43 31/12/20
98 Intralink Group Abingdon International Business Development 9.5 6 80 31/03/21
99 Wellington Health & Fitness Club Crowthorne Health & fitness club 3.9 5 3 31/07/21
100 Deacon Holdings (John George & Sons) Reading Building, roofing, fencing 10.9 5 66 31/12/20

Awards Categories

SME 100 Growth Award (below £10m)

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SME 100 Growth Award (above £10m)

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Resilience Award

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Tech Company of the Year

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Workforce of the Year

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Owner-managed Business of the Year

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Meet the Winners

SME 100 Growth Award (below £10m)

Winner: FullCircl

“A lot of organisations were interested in buying us but then I had a call with a CEO at another company who I knew and we talked about working together as our businesses are complementary. So, one plus one equalled three. We have extended our value proposition for both sets of customers; we can cross-sell, upsell and focus on customer retention, as well as customer expansion and growth. We used the Entrepreneurial Operating System to bring the businesses together with a common vision and collective core values. There may be future acquisitions and we are also really excited about strategic partnerships we are working on, including with Google.” Andrew Yates, CEO

Judge’s comments: “Another very strong category, with those short-listed having a minimum of 15% growth during the qualifying period, which in a ‘normal’ year would be excellent, but with Covid-19 and Brexit headwinds thrown in makes it even more impressive. Our winner grew by an amazing 115% during the qualifying period and has grown since, too. Throw in an acquisition and a rebranding, and it has been a very busy past year or two for them.”

Alistair McArthur, Herrington Carmichael (right) presents SME Growth 100 Award (below £10m) to Andrew Yates (centre) and Taylor Hart from FullCircl
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • Cherwell Laboratories
  • Craft Buddy
  • FullCircl

SME 100 Growth Award (above £10m)

Winner: Square Health

“Covid-19 had a big impact on the acceleration in adapting digital healthcare. It allowed us to mobilise huge amounts of resources across the UK and deploy them in areas of need. The UK has had to reinvent the delivery of healthcare and this was an open door for us. A catalyst was in people being able to access GPs when practices were closed and there have also been growing areas of healthcare provision, such as mental health services for younger people. We have been more-or-less doubling our year-on-year revenue. Our staff are the most critical part of the business and we have a culture of working hard, promoting teamwork and supporting each other.” Dr Bippon Vinayak, Co-founder and Monisha Vinayak, Commercial Director

Judges’ comments: “One of the fastest growing companies in our list, they have continued the rapid level of growth over the last year. By leveraging technology, they have quickly built solutions that complement and expand more traditional healthcare models. Their clear and focused vision and long-term client commitments suggest that we are only seeing the start of their success.”

Stuart Weekes, Crowe (right) presents SME Growth 100 Award (above £10m) to Dr Bippon Vinayak and Monisha Vinayak from Square Health
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • Bridewell Consulting
  • Cyberfort Group
  • Square Health

Resilience Award

Winner: Shorts Group

“We are always diversifying our business and the Covid-19 pandemic led us to add more services, like the provision of portable toilets and staff welfare offerings. We jumped into this market and growth here continues. We listen to our customers and our people as we expand. One of our biggest challenges is recruiting and retaining staff as skip and plant hire, along with waste collection, is a very hands-on business. One way we do this is through the apprenticeship scheme we set up six years ago. We also maintain strong links with our community, for example, with local rugby clubs. Many of our employees’ children play sports and we feel it is important to support the next generation. It’s an approach that is in the DNA of our family-owned business.” Gary Short, Owner, and David Guest, Finance Director

Judges’ comments: “A strong owner-managed family business, who have successfully grown and diversified their operations since the pandemic, while maintaining very strong links to each of the local communities in which they operate. They have overcome both internal and external challenges to refine and maintain their core business, while also developing multiple new service lines to complement their customer offering.”

Giles Blagden, Hicks Baker (right) presents the Resilience Award to Gary Short and David Guest from Shorts Group
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • BMG (Business Moves Group)
  • Country Estates
  • Shorts Group

Tech Company of the Year

Winner: Oxford BioTherapeutics

“Our business is about identifying new ways to tackle cancer and working with major pharmaceutical companies to develop therapies. We use a lot of technology in our approach, including mass spectrometry and analytical biochemistry. What drives the company is the passion we all have for what we do. We are striving for the same thing: to help cancer patients who don’t have other methods of treatment available to them.” Ben Thomas, Senior Director, and Lindsey Hudson, Director of Business Development & Partnership Alliance

Judges’ comments: “An exemplary business in its field, specialising in immunotherapies for cancer, with significant rates of success and continued business growth in recent years, they scored highly across several award categories. Their advancements in using technology to innovate ‘T cell therapies’, harnessing immune cells to help cure cancer, are industry leading and quite remarkable.”

Dominic Faires, Hicks Baker (right) presents Tech Company of the Year to Lindsey Hudson and Ben Thomas from Oxford BioTherapeutics
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • Bridewell Consulting
  • Cyberfort Group
  • Oxford BioTherapeutics

Workforce of the Year

Winner: Bridewell Consulting

“For us, it is always about getting the right quality of people. We have focused a lot on building our internal talent recruitment team that constantly maps out the best cybersecurity talent in the UK. When we interview people, if they are not quite right for us at the time, we keep in touch so if a role opens up we can bring them in. We focus a lot on learning and development, and we also recruit people who are ex-armed forces or on career transitions. We developed our company values in consultation with our staff and we all try to live by them.” Anthony Young and Scott Nicholson, Co-founders

Judge’s comments: “This was an incredibly strong category. Our winner has experienced a period of particularly rapid growth, hiring 15 people a month to now be a 200+ employee organisation. It was clear that the company values of ‘do the right thing’, ‘one team’ and ‘going above and beyond’ are key elements during the recruitment process and beyond, and it was this that gave our winner the edge.”

Alistair McArthur, Herrington Carmichael (right) presents Workforce of the Year to Antony Young and Scott Nicholson from Bridewell
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • Bridewell Consulting
  • Hawkins Group of Companies
  • Walker Logistics

Owner-managed Business of the Year

Winner: Craft Buddy

“I had worked for our father’s arts and craft business that imported goods from India and Gary had worked for a DIY chain where he gained experience sourcing products from China. We combined our knowledge to establish Craft Buddy. Our licenced product ranges with major brands began almost by accident when Disney visited our stand at a trade fair in Birmingham in 2020. We retail through a range of channels, including online, direct to consumers, to trade and distributors, and through TV shopping. We aim to continue on the same growth trajectory as we build the brand and get in front of more consumers.” Dino and Gary Wadhwani, Co-founders

Judges’ comments: “A strong group of family and owner-managed businesses made judging very difficult. Our winner impressed with their passion and commitment in a challenging sector. Their pragmatic and timely strategies alongside a genuine bootstrapped approach is an ideal lesson in how to navigate the myriad channels of retail. What was started by two brothers in their aunt’s house is now winning new customers in over 30 countries with their innovative brand and licence portfolio.”

Stuart Weekes, Crowe (right) presents Owner-Managed Business of the Year to Dino and Gary Wadhwani from Craft Buddy
SPONSORED BY
FINALISTS
  • Cherwell Laboratories
  • Craft Buddy
  • Hawkins Group of Companies
  • Square Health

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