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Bringing the family business community together

Scotland’s Finest Family Businesses

21st November 2019 Paul Andrews

Latest Family Business United research quantifies the contribution of Scotland’s most profitable family companies on the economy.

Latest research by Family Business United (‘FBU’), sponsored by Carbon Financial, shows that the top 100 family businesses in Scotland collectively generate a combined turnover of £20 billion, create £1.3 billion in profits and employ over 112,000 people.

As Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of FBU explains, “The contribution of family firms across Scotland needs to be recognised. Family firms are the engine room of the Scottish economy as providers of jobs, creators of wealth and supporters of communities throughout the country.  This report clearly quantifies their contribution and economic importance, something that needs to be more broadly recognised.”

The Top 10 Scottish Family Businesses*

  1. William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd

  2. Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited

  3. The Edinburgh Woollen Mill

  4. James Jones & Sons Limited

  5. Community Wind Power (Holdings) Limited

  6. D.C. Thomson & Company Limited

  7. Ian Macleod Distillers Limited

  8. Robertson Group Holdings Limited

  9. City Facilities Management

  10. Klondyke Fishing Company Limited

*Based on businesses with a turnover in excess of £25 million per their latest set of accounts filed at Companies House, ranked in terms of PBT

“Family firms are the driving force of economies the world over and Scotland is no exception.  These firms are integral to the economy, and to Scotland, and it is vital that policy influencers and decision makers understand their impact and support them too, adds Paul.”

All of the businesses in the Top 100 generate turnover in excess of £25 million which alone makes them significant businesses, and with Arnold Clark reporting turnover of £3.7 billion and being one of the largest private businesses in Europe, the scale of these firms can be instantly quantified.

Scotland’s Top 10 Revenue Generators* 

  1. Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited

  2. William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd

  3. The Edinburgh Woolen Mill

  4. City Facilities Management

  5. Park’s of Hamilton

  6. John Clark (Holdings) Limited

  7. Roberston Group Holdings Limited

  8. Farmfoods Limited

  9. Eastern Holdings Limited

  10. Peter Vardy Holdings Limited

*Based on businesses with a turnover in excess of £25 million per their latest set of accounts filed at Companies House, ranked in terms of turnover

As Mark Christie, partner at Carbon Financial, sponsors of this research for the third year adds, “Not only does the top 100 quantify the importance of family firms to our economy but these businesses represent a great mix of the old and the new, family firms that have been around for generations such as Walkers Shortbread, Johnstons of Elgin and Baxters and others that are starting out on their journey.”

“What they all have in common is a story to tell, a narrative and history that clearly differentiates them from their non-family counterparts, and can create competitive advantage too,” continues Mark.

“Family firms across Scotland make a real difference each and every day and are a fantastic resource and deserve to be recognised for all that they continue to achieve,” adds Mark.  “Family firms are the bedrock of communities across Scotland, not just in the urban areas but making a real difference in rural communities too,” he concludes.

This is the third year that the research has been undertaken and despite the prevailing uncertainties around the political and economic climate, family firms are continuing to increase their contribution, investing for the long term and making plans for their futures.  At the heart of the nation, these businesses are part of the economic fabric of Scotland.

As Paul concludes, “Research such as this is really important and helps to define the sector and quantify the real impact of family businesses across Scotland.  The numbers really say it all - Family firms in Scotland are major employers, significant revenue generators and real assets to the country.  Scottish family businesses are a real force for good and deserve to be celebrated for all that they do and for their commitment to Scotland and the communities in which they operate so successfully too.”

See the full report here

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