Things are tough for the U.K. economy as it slowly recovers from recession. But it’s not all bad news.
The London Stock Exchange Group’s annual list of 1,000 small- and medium-sized businesses - compiled by Growth Intelligence - shows there’s a lot to be cheerful for across the whole country. The list has many young and old businesses that are kicking sand in the face of economic meltdown.
Founded in 2007 by two beer enthusiasts with a bank loan, the Aberdeen-based brewer now has 210 staffers, several pubs across the country, and made revenues of £10.6 million in 2012.
Its Equity for Punks scheme — where beer fans buy shares in the business — has raised £7 million from 1,200 investors.
Oh, and it makes a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, which is 32% ABV and one of the strongest beers in the world.
Believe it or not, it’s quite nice.
2. IRON MAIDEN!
Yes, the world’s greatest heavy metal band is a serious business as well as one of the U.K.’s most successful cultural exports.
Iron Maiden LLP employs 14 people and made just shy of £20 million in revenue last year thanks to touring and vast array of licensing and merchandise deals.
The music recognition app claims it has “connected” 375 million people in more than 200 countries since it launched in 2002, with its magic-like ability to tell you the name and artist of almost any song.
It’s now pulling in the money as well as the punters, making £21.8 million in revenue in 2012.
It sounded an unlikely business idea in 2003, but10 years on Pieminister is knocking out pie and mash on British high streets, supermarkets, and music festivals at an alarming rate. The business made £8.3 million last year and employs around 150 people.
It was founded in 1831, but Young’s is a fast-growing business now: It’s on course to make £193 million in revenue this year, up from £126 million in 2009. It’s still based in Wandsworth and employs more than 2,000 people.