Monday, April 18, 2022

Big 4 countries account for 73% of Europe’s fastest-growing firms

The Financial Times's FT 1000 which was published in March 2022 with Statista, a research company, lists the European companies that had the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2017 and 2020. The minimum CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) to get on the list was 36.5% — slightly above the 35.5% required for last year’s ranking.

The Big 4 countries Italy (235); Germany (194); the UK (155) and France (148) accounted for 732 of the 1,000 firms or 73%.

The FT reports that "as with last year, the top 10 is made up of new entrants to the ranking. But, on the list overall, there are 306 companies that also appeared in the previous edition." A total of 117 firms have had a ranking in 3 consecutive years.

The sectoral mix this year is similar to the 2021 ranking: "technology leads with a fifth of companies on the list, followed by construction and retail. However, retail has boosted its share of the ranking to 8.6% from just under 6% last year."

London is the city with the biggest number of fast-growing companies (81), followed by Paris (34) and Milan (33).

Ireland has 4 firms among the 1,000: Bio Marine (118) produces fishery ingredients; Bevcraft (165) manufactures beer cans; (182) is involved in e-commerce and Snigel (820) is a technology firm.

There are no Irish-born tech firms on the list: was founded by a French entrepreneur and Snigel was founded by two Austrian nationals who had worked at Google.

I reported last February that in 2020 Ireland had only 3 native-born firms (excluding 2 banks) among the 2,500 biggest business R&D spenders in the world. Denmark had 29 and Finland had 15.    

The FT reported that Swappie, a Finland-based buyer and seller of refurbished smartphones had the top ranking with a CAGR of 477%. "Kilo Health, a Lithuanian digital healthcare company, comes in second this year with a 2017-20 revenue CAGR of 450%. Kilo is followed by OCI Group, a UK-based supply chain procurement business — which ratcheted up a CAGR of 410% over the same period — and OnlyFans, the UK-based digital platform best known for selling user-created pornography to subscribers."

Who is eligible?

In order to be included in the ranking a firm must meet the following criteria:

1) Revenue of at least €100,000 Euro generated in 2017;

2) Revenue of at least €1.5m Euro generated in 2020;

3) Be independent (the applying company is not a subsidiary or branch office of another company);

4) Be headquartered in Europe;

5) The revenue growth between 2017 and 2020 was primarily organic (i.e. “internally” stimulated);

6) Have not experienced share price irregularities in the past 12 months: for example should not have fallen by 50% or more since 2019.

Firms from these countries participated: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

FT 1000: the sixth annual list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies

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