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THE north has been ranked as the number one UK region for business growth, according to a new report.

Research released by equity investor, BGF shows that 400 top performing companies in Northern Ireland have reported a combined £1.4 billion of turnover growth in the last three years.

The UK-wide analysis, which covers a total of 13,286 businesses, calculates growth through changes in turnover and employee size among private companies with revenues between £3m and £150m.

In the north, four in five (81 per cent) of the 400 firms within the classification increased their revenues over the last three years, the highest proportion in the UK.

Collectively, the local companies enjoyed turnover growth of 17 per cent since 2015, marginally above the UK average (15 per cent).

Suprisingly businesses in Co Derry experienced the UK’s highest combined turnover growth in the UK of 26 per cent over the past three years, with 84 per cent of the 45 businesses covered in the research reporting an increase.

The research further shows that over two thirds (71 per cent) of Northern Ireland businesses are actively hiring and have increasing their combined workforce by an average of 25 people per week (3,918 employees) over the past four years – the sharpest rate in the UK.

Paddy Graham, head of Northern Ireland at BGF said local businesses have prospered in spite of the clear challenges in front of them.

“Over the past three years, Northern Ireland businesses have faced a lot of uncertainty, with unresolved issues such as Brexit and the restoration of local government at Stormont undoubtedly having some impact on overall growth in the economy,” he said.

“But this research shows a group of businesses here which have not just grown strongly but have actually outstripped their peers in other regions of the UK. While the numbers of local businesses in our target range is relatively low compared to some other UK regions, it is hugely positive that so many of them are posting such robust financial numbers.”

Source: Irish News

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