Two Midland firms singled out as among the 100 fastest growing businesses in the country have both warned they face a tough future.
Probuild Birmingham, based in Great Barr, have twice been on the list in recent years after their annual turnover jumped from £800,000 in 2005 to £9.4million in the last financial year.
But managing director Nigel Ford warned that the company, which employs more than 50 people, is already feeling the pinch caused by tough financial conditions.
“Obviously we’re very pleased to be on the list again this year,” he said. “Last year we were at number 11 on the list and this year we’re at number 10, which is great news, especially as we’ve apparently jumped up a place.
“But the list is based on last year’s figures and we have already seen some of the effects of the economic climate.”
The firm specialises in shop fitting and gets most of its work from major supermarket chains including Tesco, Co-op and Iceland.
“We’re still getting quite a lot of work from Tesco and Iceland,” he said. “But we’ve already seen it dry up from Co-op, which is due to new systems they have in place.
“We’re fairly confident at the moment, but obviously there are going to be tough times ahead for us and for all businesses.”
Fellow Midland company SPI materials, based in Tamworth, which supplies parts to the automotive and defence
industry also made the list placing 50th in the country.
Managing director Michael Holt said he was pleased with the result as this was now the third time the company had been singled out as one of the country’s top performers.
“In 2006 we were placed 51st and in 2007 we came in 27th place so we’re really pleased that we’re in there again.
“We have to work quite hard to stay in the list because obviously the larger you get the harder it is to remain one of the most rapidly expanding companies.”
Michael warned that despite the company’s good performance over the past year – it recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – it too was seeing a contraction in demand for some of its products.
But he said he was still optimistic about the future because the firm’s defence contracts, for which it supplies metal tubing for missile parts, was doing well.
“The automotive market is currently very over supplied and we are seeing a reduction in demand in that market, which is bad because it’s a major part of our business. But on the other hand, the part of our business which supplies parts to aerospace and defence companies is performing well because of current global issues.”
He added: “I think we’re in a pretty good position. There will be tough times ahead but I think you’ll find that the firms which come through this recession will be stronger for it and will do well when it’s all over.”