Be on the right side of the great divide

Darryl Danielli
Monday, January 25, 2016

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that this issue of PrintWeek is slightly slimmer than usual. However, unless you’ve purloined your copy from a colleague, you’ve hopefully also noticed the reason why: within your fortnightly polybag of goodness is the 2016 Top 500 – our state of the industry financial report on the UK’s 500 largest companies.

Putting the Top 500 together is a real team effort and special thanks go to the team at Grant Thornton: Daniel Smith, Graham West and Lucy Prince, for their invaluable help. Thanks to our sponsor, Antalis, too and of course, our very own Jo Francis for her tireless efforts in putting this bellwether report together.

Based on your feedback, we know that the Top 500 is an incredibly useful benchmarking tool. So, with that in mind, in the next few weeks we’ll be releasing it as a downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, allowing you to slice and dice the data and, importantly, add your own company information – if you’re not already in it – to see how your performance measures up against the industry’s 500 largest companies.

And this year’s report makes for very encouraging reading: collectively year-on-year sales, profits and margins are all up. In fact, the weighted pre-tax profit margins have almost doubled to 4.7%, their highest level since 1999. 

But now is not the time for complacency.

The days of a rising tide lifting everyone are long gone, the industry has changed and the divide between those companies that are growing and evolving and those that are stagnating is only going to get wider.

So I hope that this year’s Top 500 not only makes for informative reading, but also gives you continued inspiration to ensure that your business remains on the right side of that divide. 

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