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Oakgate named number 1 in Top 100 SMES

February 2015

Yorkshires most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses boosted both profits and sales last year, but cut back on staff numbers, new research reveals today.
Analysis of the regions top 100 SMEs ranked by profitability shows a 16 per cent surge in pre-tax profits and a nine per cent rise in turnover.

But growth did not equate to a rise in employment according to BHP, the Yorkshire accountancy firm that carried out the research.
Mike Jackson, partner at the Leeds office, said the headline findings show the strength of Yorkshires leading SMEs.

“However, success can of course be measured in a number of ways, and sadly the combined number of employees has shown a decrease of 1.3%.
“Perhaps this shows an increase in efficiency as less people are generating more business, but lets hope this in turn will create more jobs in the coming year.”
BHP, the region’s largest independent chartered accountants, analysed latest published financial information filed at companies house to produce the annual report of Yorkshire-based companies with a turnover up to £25.9m and less than 250 employees.

Top of the tree this year was Oakgate Group, the Wetherby based property developer, which delivered a £10.2m profit.
The company is owned by partners Paul Caddick, Richard France and John Grantham who together have more than 120 years of experience in the property industry.
Mr France said the strong year was due to the sale of the Boar Lane development in Leeds to group of London investors and completion of Vangarde Shopping Park at Monks Cross in York, which had “three cherries on the fruit machine” of John Lewis, Next and Marks & Spencer as tenants.

Oakgate worked on developments throughout the economic downturn and managed to weather the storm, unlike some of its peers. “It was hard. We had to tighten out belts,” said Mr France, who is known as Froggy.
Asked about the secret to successful property development, he said: “Finding the right deal in the first place, working hard and then having a smattering of luck.”