Green energy supplier takes top spot and London remains the city with the most high-growth businesses
Europe’s high-growth companies are facing another year of slower progress as the pandemic continues to constrain business activity. Delayed recoveries in demand across the continent’s economies, along with the headwinds wrought by Brexit, complicate the battle to survive this challenging period. Half of all European companies have reported a revenue or profit decline in the past 12 months and do not expect any improvement in the coming year, according to consulting firm Accenture. But the fifth annual FT 1000 ranking shows the rapid growth rates that some aim to restore: it provides a snapshot of Europe’s most promising growth businesses in the weeks before coronavirus took hold. Whether this past strength can translate into resilience as national vaccination programmes gather pace and economies start to recover will be explored in an in-depth FT 1000 report, due to be published on March 22. The FT 1000, compiled with Statista, a research company, lists the European companies that achieved the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2016 and 2019. The minimum CAGR to make the list was 35.5 per cent this year, slightly lower than last year’s 38.4 per cent. Read the full report featuring case studies and analysis here Bulb Energy, the UK’s largest company that claims to provide renewable energy, supplying 6 per cent of the market, nudges OakNorth bank off the top spot in this year’s ranking, with a 2016-19 CAGR of 1,159 per cent. However, the challenger bank retains a place on the 2021 ranking, at 109th, with 2019 revenues of £104m — despite the impact of a soured £41m loan to a failed luxury property developer, Latvian online lender Sun Finance ranks second with a compound growth rate of 752 per cent, while UK water provider Everflow Group is third with a CAGR of 465 per cent. All of this year’s top 10 are new entries, but 314 companies on the list also appeared in 2020’s ranking. A total of 92 companies have been ranked among the fastest growing in three consecutive years. In terms of industry sectors, the ranking once again reflects the growth achieved by technology businesses, which dominate with 219 entrants, up from 189 last year. When added to the related but discrete categories of fintech and ecommerce, that total climbs to 290. For the first time, Italy is the country with the most entries on the list, with 269. Second is Germany with 204, followed by France with 162. As with last year, London is the city with the greatest number of fast-growing companies (71), followed by Paris (45) and Milan (36). Scroll to the bottom of the interactive table for the full methodology.