Meet the Pro50: G to M
Meet the next instalment of our hyper-productive companies from the Professional Manager Pro50 and make sure you come back tomorrow as we continue on our tour of some of the UK’s most productive businessesMatt Scott and Matthew Rock
G’s Fresh is a salad and vegetable grower with farms and production facilities in the UK, Spain, Czech Republic and the US. The company was founded as a celery farm by Guy Shropshire in the 1950s before diversifying, and it remains a family-run business today. The company is a technology leader, with Shropshire inventing the straw planter. In 2014, it received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its innovations.
Global Merchandising Services
Global Merchandising Services offers design, product development, manufacturing and sales services in all channels of retail distribution, such as live events, web stores, sponsorships and third-party licensing. Based in London and Los Angeles, the company was founded in 2008 by Barry Drinkwater. Clients include the Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Global Traffic Network (GTN) UK Commercial
Global Traffic Network (GTN) UK Commercial provides traffic, travel and entertainment news reports for UK commercial radio stations. GTN UK Commercial was launched in 2007 and serves 250 stations, including Absolute Radio, with a reach of 27.5 million listeners – 79% of all commercial radio listeners in the country.
Helix Well Ops (UK)
Helix Well Ops specialises in responding to deepwater oil spills and plug and abandonment work at the end of the working life of an oil well. The company, based in the heart of Aberdeen’s oil industry, uses state-of-the-art technology, including pioneering designs and cutting-edge monohull technology to improve the efficiency of its operations.
Ian Mosey (Livestock)
Ian Mosey started creating his own animal feed in 1999, to drive down the costs of feeding the animals on his farm. The high-tech mill was a success, and he soon started selling his animal feed to other farmers in the area. The company now supplies feed for pigs, cattle, game, poultry, sheep and horses across the North East.
ISG Fit Out
ISG Fit Out is an award-winning office interiors company that works across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Projects range from the bespoke fit-out of an entire building, through to applying the finishing touches to a single room. ISG Fit Out includes ISG’s engineering business, which specialises in building data centres.
Knight Developments was founded in 1972 as part of The Knight Group, and designs and builds UK housing developments. It has won a number of awards, including the ‘Best New Starter Home’ award from What House magazine and the ‘Heritage and Conservation’ award from Epping Forest District Council.
Marbank Construction is a ‘design and build’ company working on projects ranging from around £1m to more than £10m. It has completed more than 200 builds nationwide, together worth at least £400m. Marbank uses its technical expertise and broad experience to produce designs that reduce costs while simultaneously adding value to the project.
Meridian Salmon Farms
Meridian Salmon was acquired by Cooke Aquaculture, North America’s biggest fish-farming company, in a £122.5m deal in 2014. The Shetland-based company is one of the region’s largest salmon farmers. Announcing the deal, Cooke Aquaculture chief executive Glenn Cooke said: “Meridian is a cost-effective producer with a dedicated management team and employee base.”
Meter Provida is an energy metering specialist supplying smart gas, water and electricity meters. This is a fast-expanding market enabled by new technology. In 2009, Meter Provida partnered with DHL, and today the logistics giant handles all the company’s warehouse, logistics and inventory management operations – a clever collaborative move that doubtless keeps the firm’s productivity high.
Midgard is a construction contractor specialising in the construction of residential apartment buildings. Midgard prides itself on employing specialist in-house staff rather than sub-contractors. Midgard also owns all its own equipment, reducing the need to hire in tools and plant equipment.
MPB Structures is a concrete frame construction company whose service range includes earthworks, drainage, substructure reinforced concrete works, civil engineering and railway infrastructure. The company was founded in 1987 by Michael Boyle and has since worked for clients including the London Underground.
Multiple Marketing is the company behind the Sunmagic drinks brand, which produces smoothies and juices for children, using 100% fruit juice. In July this year, the company also released the Hydra sub-brand of still and fizzy juice drinks. The management is doing a great job in building a series of new drinks brands, an area in which the UK is traditionally strong.
Birmingham-based MV Kelly is a groundwork and infrastructure construction company working on £10,000 to £10m projects. MV Kelly tends to replace equipment on a three-year cycle, and buys new equipment on an as-needed basis, so it doesn’t have to rely on external plant hire. This helps ensure equipment is well maintained, and reduces project delays due to faulty equipment.
Read our full analysis of what makes the list of Pro50 companies so productive, including expert analysis from Professor John Van Reenen, director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Illustration by Charles Williams