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    Posted on Dec 2, 2013

    10 Fast-Growing UK Companies That Are On Fire Right Now

    It's not all doom and gloom out there: these businesses are employing people and making money.

    Things are tough for the U.K. economy as it slowly recovers from recession. But it's not all bad news.

    London Stock Exchange Group

    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.

    1. Brewdog

    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.


    Flickr: t-klick / Creative Commons

    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.

    3. Shazam.

    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.

    4. Skyscanner.

    This Edinburgh-based travel search engine scans thousands of deals and is available in 30 languages. It made more than £35 million in 2012 and around 300 staff.

    5. Mulberry.

    Posh handbag maker Mulberry has been going since the 1970s. It's a pillar of London Fashion Week, is still based in Somerset, and made £165 million in sales last year, while employing more than 500 people.

    6. Aardman Animations.

    Wallace and Gromit creator Aardman is still making serious money despite a Hollywood film deal coming to an end. The Bristol company made £77.4 million in 2012 and has 238 staffers.

    7. Pieminister.

    Flickr: deadmanjones / Creative Commons

    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.

    8. Unruly Media.

    The social video marketing agency has tracked more than 365 billion video views since it launched in 2006 and now employs 130 people across 12 offices across the world, making £17.5 million in revenue last year.

    9. Young's.

    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.

    10. Naked Wines.

    Launched in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, last year it made £1 million, its first profit, with £34 million of revenue. Norwich-based Naked supports independent vintners and sells their produce to its "angel" online subscribers.

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