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What are the top 150 businesses in Devon and Cornwall?

By Neil_Shaw | Posted: July 06, 2017

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The Range empire owned by Devon billionaire Chris Dawson has once again topped the Top 150 list of largest employers in Devon and Cornwall.

The discount retailer, with a turnover of £674million, is the biggest employer in the region with 7,910 workers.

And the empire is set to get even bigger with plans under way for more stores in the UK, a new HQ - to be named Elsie Margaret house after Dawson's mum - in Plymouth and the opening of the 1,200,000sq ft distribution mega shed near Avonmouth.

And as the retail mogul dismissed plans to float the business on the stock exchange, he has vowed: "I'm not going anywhere."

The list of Top 150 companies was revealed at the launch of the Western Morning News Annual Business Guide 2017 yesterday.


Sponsored by the University of Exeter, data compiled by KPMG and with associate sponsors Devon Colleges Group and Pavey Group, the Annual Business Guide acts as a barometer for every sector and geographical area right across the region.

In launching the guide at a preview at Exeter Racecourse yesterday, Bill Martin, editor Western Morning News, said the guide was a showcase for the region and a key part of the #BackTheSouthWest campaign, designed to take a unified message to the government.

He said: "There is no slowdown in the Westcountry's ambition, therefore there is no appetite for indecision.

"Our businesses are progressive, ambitious, and are producing levels of growth and quality that any area of the country would be proud of.

"The region, with the Western Morning News as its cheerleader, will continue to make its voice heard to ensure that we all, and the powers that be, really do Back the South West."

Also in the top five are Exeter-based Pennon Group PLC, Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, Newcross Healthcare Solutions in Totnes and Princess Yachts in Plymouth.

Together, the Top150 have a total turnover of £10.7billion and employ 78, 017 people - 3,000 more than last year.

Ian Brokenshire, senior partner at KPMG Plymouth compiled the list.

It is based on accounts filed to Companies House by May 19, includes companies headquartered in Devon and Cornwall and is ranked by the number of employees.

He said that 90% of named businesses are non-movers suggested a level of stability among the major employees in the two counties.

The sector dominating is manufacturing and retail and is mostly made up of entrepreneurial, family and privately owned companies.

He said: "It is a fascinating list and a great snapshot of the south west business trends."


Predicting the years ahead, Mr Brokenshire said that there would be an increase in inward investment and changes brought with the development of technology, artificial intelligence and social media.

Prof. Mark Goodwin, deputy vice chancellor for Innovation and External Engagement at the University of Exeter, said the region has to improve innovation, investment and raise productivity.

"Productivity in the South West is still only around 81% of the UK average and if were to close that gap, it would mean £11,500 more a year for every household."


The university, which contributes £600million to the regional economy and works on 1,000 projects with businesses each year, has identified that marine, aerospace, energy and environmental data will become strong growth sectors in the near future.

Prof. Goodwin said: "The world is becoming more and more skilled, our businesses need those skilled workers and the graduates are central to providing those skills."

But the challenges of Brexit brings uncertainty for EU research funding, the future of talented overseas staff and the ability to attract students to the university.

He also called for the region to stand together on the #BackTheSouthWest campaign.

He said: "This is not about Devon vs Cornwall, this is about ensuring that whatever money is available in the UK comes to the South West rather than Manchester or the West Midlands, which have got themselves far better organised than the South West has.

"This is about us working together to drive economic growth that the whole region will benefit from."




The Top 150 list

2017 2016 Company name Staff Turnover (1,000) Type Category
1 1 CDS (Superstores International) Limited 7,910 674,203 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
2 3 Pennon Group PLC / Viridor / South West Water 4,987 1,352,300 Public, Quoted Electricity, Gas or Water Supply
3 2 Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited / Babcock International Group PLC 4,860 660,093 Private Limited Engineering
4 7 Newcross Healthcare Solutions Limited 2,329 89,930 Private Limited Health & Social Work
5 4 Princess Yachts International PLC / R.N.O. Group SCA 2,317 201,233 Public, Not Quoted Manufacturing
6 6 Flybe Group PLC 1,988 623,800 Public, Quoted Transport, Storage & Communication
7 5 Wills Lifestyle Holdings Limited / Jack Wills Limited 1,927 137,403 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
8 9 Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited 1,776 156,342 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
9 8 Mole Valley Farmers Limited 1,523 407,939 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
10 11 Cormac Solutions Limited 1,286 91,522 Private Limited Property & Construction
11 10 Cornwall Care Services Limited 1,272 28,537 Private Limited Health & Social Work
12 15 St.Austell Brewery Company Limited 1,170 137,351 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
13 12 Scot Group Southern Limited 1,142 108,493 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
14 13 Percy R Brend & Sons (Holdings) Limited 1,137 55,179 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
15 14 Imerys Minerals Limited 1,082 171,990 Private Limited Mining & Quarrying
16 17 Helston Garages Group Limited 1033 586,049 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
17 16 White Rose UK Ltd 966 31,640 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
18 18 Charles Robertson (Holdings) Limited / Trago Mills Limited 873 71,980 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
19 19 First South West Limited 806 28,614 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
20 21 H.Tempest Limited 762 39,470 Private Limited Media & Creative Industries
21 20 Norbord Europe Limited 754 297,097 Private Limited Manufacturing
22 24 Actavis UK Limited 729 352,051 Private Limited Manufacturing
23 23 Vospers of Plymouth Limited 710 232,302 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
24 27 Wrigley UNO UK Limited 530 254,841 Private Limited Manufacturing
25 30 Riverford Organic Farmers Limited 512 51,923 Private Limited Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting & Forestry
26 28 Gillett's (Callington) Limited 511 64,767 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
27 31 Wrafton Laboratories Limited 511 77,354 Private Limited Manufacturing
28 41 Amberon Limited 510 24,253 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
29 32 Warrens Bakery Limited 489 14,586 Private Limited Manufacturing
30 52 Chadwick Brothers Limited / Seasalt Limited 482 34,569 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
31 33 John Heathcoat & Company (Holdings) Limited 456 49,916 Private Limited Manufacturing
32 34 Michelmores LLP 456 32,921 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
33 64 David Hunt (North Devon) Limited 455 11,281 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
34 38 Ashfords LLP 437 36,023 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
35 40 Eden Project Limited 433 20,723 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
36 39 Torquay Leisure Hotels Limited 420 12,805 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
37 36 Midas Group Limited 413 215,781 Private Limited Property & Construction
38 25 Francis Clark LLP 411 29,059 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
39 48 CWC (UK Holdings) Limited 404 248,065 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
40 46 BV Environmental Limited / Bandvulc Tyres Ltd 398 54,768 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
41 35 Foot Anstey LLP 397 35,947 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
42 37 Barden Corporation(U.K.)Limited(The) 394 39,420 Private Limited Manufacturing
43 57 Bott Limited 393 43,323 Private Limited Manufacturing
44 22 Centrax Holdings Limited 389 71,779 Private Limited Manufacturing
45 49 B.A.I. (U.K.) Limited / Brittany Ferries 385 16,338 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
46 69 Swallowcourt Holdings Limited 383 8,809 Private Limited Health & Social Work
47 29 Saltrock Surfwear Limited / Plymouth Pavilions / Suite Hospitality 373 19,076 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
48 45 Goodridge Limited 371 34,418 Private Limited Manufacturing
49 51 Pendennis Shipyard (Holdings) Limited 370 45,956 Private Limited Manufacturing
50 42 Vital Pet Products Limited 366 101,131 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
51 44 British Ceramic Tile Limited 356 46,217 Private Limited Manufacturing
52 53 Landmark Information Group Limited 352 56,648 Private Limited Business Services
53 58 Rotolok (Holdings) Limited 347 26,012 Private Limited Manufacturing
54 59 Rittal-C S M Limited 335 48,272 Private Limited Manufacturing
55 60 John Fowler Holidays Limited 334 23,063 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
56 56 Manor House Hotel (Okehampton) Limited 328 15,390 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
57 65 Daish's Group Limited 316 13,880 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
58 70 Eastleigh Care Group Limited 309 7,666 Private Limited Health & Social Work
59 63 Tdk-Lambda UK Limited 304 34,037 Private Limited Manufacturing
60 67 Red Hotels Limited 304 10,808 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
61 127 Exeter Rugby Group PLC 303 16,989 Public, Not Quoted Leisure & Tourism
62 61 Ukrd Group Limited 302 19,778 Private Limited Media & Creative Industries
63 88 PRO - Direct Group Limited 301 71,176 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
64 50 EMC Advisory Services Limited 298 12,589 Private Limited Business Services
65 54 Bray Leino Limited 291 54,264 Private Limited Media & Creative Industries
66 66 Stephens Scown LLP 288 17,810 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
67 75 Rawle Gammon & Baker Holdings Limited 286 54,262 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
68 73 Stovax Heating Group Limited 285 45,792 Private Limited Manufacturing
69 78 Exeter And Devon Airport Limited 284 17,921 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
70 71 The Seafood Restaurant (Padstow) Limited 282 15,976 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
71 81 Styles & Brown Ltd / Axminster Tool Centre Ltd 277 40,828 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
72 83 Philip Dennis Foodservice Limited 276 39,271 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
73 90 Trinity Ten Limited 276 28,130 Private Limited Engineering
74 84 Otter Nurseries Limited 273 19,726 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
75 82 Grevan Cars Limited 270 115,649 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
76 76 South West Environmental Parks Limited 264 12,181 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
77 85 Watson-Marlow Limited 263 46,314 Private Limited Manufacturing
78 - Ministry of Cake Ltd 259 24,716 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
79 110 H. Days Holdings Limited 212 5,669 Private Limited Community, Social & Personal Service Activities
80 108 Steve Hoskin Construction Limited 252 41,377 Private Limited Property & Construction
81 77 Kawasaki Precision Machinery (UK) Limited 251 49,297 Private Limited Manufacturing
82 104 Professional Reseller Group Limited / Stormfront Retail Limited 248 48,414 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
83 91 Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd. 247 72,490 Private Limited Manufacturing
84 68 Modus Care Limited 247 7,337 Private Limited Health & Social Work
85 80 Atlantic Inertial Systems Limited 245 46,816 Private Limited Manufacturing
86 86 Maximus Health And Human Services Limited 244 33,040 Private Limited Community, Social & Personal Service Activities
87 97 Proper Cornish Limited 244 14,912 Private Limited Manufacturing
88 128 Shervey Limited 244 6,714 Private Limited Health & Social Work
89 112 The Cornish Bakery Shops Limited 243 9,831 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
90 117 Stonehaven (Healthcare) Ltd 243 6,609 Private Limited Health & Social Work
91 72 Morleigh Limited 243 5,964 Private Limited Health & Social Work
92 95 PK Food Concepts Ltd. 243 21,343 Private Limited Manufacturing
93 138 Goonvean Holdings Limited 242 27,705 Private Limited Mining & Quarrying
94 100 Victoria Group Holdings Limited 242 27,398 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
95 99 Maximum Fun Holdings Limited 241 7,533 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
96 101 Hi-Line Contractors S.W. Ltd. 239 10,679 Private Limited Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting & Forestry
97 106 Watergate Bay Hotel Limited 236 9,372 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
98 102 Peninsula Care Homes Limited 234 6,598 Private Limited Health & Social Work
99 107 Cornwall Glass & Glazing Limited 231 14,286 Private Limited Manufacturing
100 87 Phoenix Learning & Care Holdings Limited 231 7,409 Private Limited Community, Social & Personal Service Activities
101 98 Lang & Potter (Holdings) Limited 230 14,928 Private Limited Manufacturing
102 103 VI - Spring Limited 229 40,378 Private Limited Manufacturing
103 94 Centek Holdings Limited 229 27,411 Private Limited Manufacturing
104 89 E. & J. W. Glendinning (Holdings) Limited 224 33,298 Private Limited Mining & Quarrying
105 116 Wilton Bradley Holdings Limited 224 17,149 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
106 96 CC Education Services Limited 224 4,703 Private Limited Community, Social & Personal Service Activities
107 115 E T Holdings Limited 221 24,781 Private Limited Transport, Storage & Communication
108 105 Southern Healthcare (Wessex) Ltd 221 4,975 Private Limited Health & Social Work
109 93 Aero Stanrew Group Limited 218 17,032 Private Limited Manufacturing
110 - Champion Groundworks Limited 218 45,729 Private Limited Property & Construction
111 62 Bishop Fleming LLP 217 15,640 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
112 109 Southern England Farms Limited 215 15,438 Private Limited Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting & Forestry
113 113 Hawkins Holdings Limited 214 74,526 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
114 120 Cannon Care Homes Ltd 211 6,569 Private Limited Health & Social Work
115 92 Graphic PLC 209 18,554 Public, Not Quoted Manufacturing
116 131 SC Group-Global Limited / Supacat Limited 207 43,086 Private Limited Manufacturing
117 - Succession Holdings Ltd 205 24,457 Private Limited Business Services
118 126 Original Style Limited 205 18,661 Private Limited Manufacturing
119 124 Nettleton Holdings Limited 204 7,699 Private Limited Property & Construction
120 118 Still Materials Handling Limited 201 52,996 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
121 140 MJL Cornwall Limited 201 30,267 Private Limited Property & Construction
122 123 South West Care Homes Limited 198 6,403 Private Limited Health & Social Work
123 149 Pencarrie Holdings Ltd. 187 57,006 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
124 147 Crantock Bakery Limited 185 13,440 Private Limited Manufacturing
125 134 Roadform Civil Engineering Company Limited 179 20,697 Private Limited Property & Construction
126 136 Golden Coast Sporting Villas Limited 178 6,970 Private Limited Leisure & Tourism
127 - ARK Property & Investments Ltd 177 4,644 Private Limited Property & Construction
128 133 Sparex Limited 175 33,402 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
129 141 Coastguard Road Limited 175 10,555 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
130 111 Beacon Communication Services Limited 175 27,740 Private Limited Business Services
131 143 Tasties of Chester Limited 173 12,724 Private Limited Manufacturing
132 - Merlin Cinemas Limited 172 7,447 Private Limited Media & Creative Industries
133 125 Twofour Broadcast Limited 171 37,094 Private Limited Media & Creative Industries
134 - Kivells Limited 168 5,656 Private Limited Business Services
135 - The Plastic Surgeon Limited 167 8,372 Private Limited Community, Social & Personal Service Activities
136 - Webbers Property Services Limited 166 6,104 Private Limited Property & Construction
137 145 Cornish Farm Dairy Limited 164 29,864 Private Limited Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting & Forestry
138 144 Allan Sichel Limited 161 33,791 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
139 137 Home Hardware Southwest Limited 161 29,736 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
140 - A E Stuart Limited 161 30,699 Private Limited Business Services
141 - Axminster Carpets Limited 157 17,039 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
142 - Falfish Limited 156 33,097 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
143 146 Torcare Limited 156 3,198 Private Limited Health & Social Work
144 - CTC (Wholesalers) Limited 156 47,550 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
145 139 Pritchard Patent Product Company (2001) Limited 156 9,067 Private Limited Wholesale & Retail
146 - West Pharmaceutical Services Cornwall Limited 153 29,987 Private Limited Manufacturing
147 - Premiere Health Limited 153 3,844 Private Limited Health & Social Work
148 142 South West Communications Group Holdings Limited 153 19,691 Private Limited Business Services
149 - WBW Solicitors LLP 153 5,853 Limited Liability Partnership Business Services
150 - Burts Potato Chips Limited 151 19,689 Private Limited Manufacturing

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