Headline changes in the East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2023 compared to 2022
The East Midlands Top 500 Companies listing is a mechanism to gauge the health of the region’s economy in a relatively stable trading environment.
It’s compiled by researchers from the Business Schools at De Montfort, Derby and Nottingham Trent Universities.
Professor David Rae has analysed the entrants, explaining the listing and the most significant changes this year compared to last.
What is the Top 500?
The first EM Top 500 was launched in May 2020, with both the 2020 and 2021 reports published whilst the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown impacted on our lives and businesses.
The 2022 report was also overshadowed by uncertainty from political events and the war in Ukraine.
The fourth East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2023 again appears in a changing economic context, in which the UK economy has avoided recession and the region’s businesses continue to show resilience in responding to diverse challenges as well as emerging opportunities.
The East Midlands Top 500 2023 is a partnership led by Professor David Rae and Adam Brown, at Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University.
Valued contributions have come from \ research analyst Manisha Iben; and from Alex Charles (University of Derby), Dr Will Rossiter (Nottingham Trent University); and East Midlands Chamber.
The EM Top 500 index lists private and public limited companies with their registered offices located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
It does not include large employers who have their registered offices elsewhere; nor does it include public organisations, mutually owned, co-operatives and Educational and Health Trusts which derive most of their income from Government.
Top 500 2023 headline changes compared to 2022
These 500 companies based in the East Midlands region had a combined turnover of £82,095,998,000 in 2023, compared with £ 90,473,515,000 in 2022.
That’s a 9.3% decrease of £8,377,517,000.
They employed a total of 434,348 people This reflects national and some international employment by these companies, beyond the East Midlands. In 2022, they employed a total of 469,512.
This gives us a 7.5% decrease of 35,164 employees.
The decrease in the aggregated turnover of the Top 500 continues the declining trend which first became apparent in 2022 with the release of the 2019-2020 data, showing a 4.3% decrease, but it is much greater at 9.3%.
This should not be a surprise because it shows the impact on sales performance of most companies arising from the Covid pandemic, restrictions and lockdowns during the year in question.
The decrease in employment, of 7.5% is smaller and suggests that employers were retaining staff, supported by government support such as furloughs.
For comparison, the UK economy GDP fell steeply by 25 points during the period April-June 2020 and then recovered, with a second, smaller dip in Sept 2020-Jan 2021, before continuing to recover more gradually.
The national figures are mirrored in the East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey of regional firms’ business confidence for Q2 2020-Q2 2021.
There is no doubt that the period of Covid greatly impacted firm performance, both in loss of sales and additional costs, but that this was followed by steep growth.
Also, given that this was an exceptional period, the recovery started to occur at different times in different sectors, depending on the resumption of ‘normal business’ face-face sales and service.
New entrants compared with 2022:
97 firms. These are primarily due to companies with increased turnover which brought them above the threshold, together with changes in corporate structure and registered office moves into the region.
This is an increase from 78 new firms in 2022 and represents a 19.4% turnover of companies which indicates an increased level of ‘churn’ within the index, by introducing new firms.
Thirty-nine of these are in the 401-500 tier of the index. These include companies to watch in the future for continued growth. This also meant that 97 firms left the index.
These departures reflect companies whose turnover declined or grew less than the index, or who became insolvent, dormant or went into administration; acquisitions or sales; and registered office moves out of the region.
Even here, there was a happy outcome for clothing retailer Joules, which was bought out of administration by NEXT Plc and continues to trade as a going concern.