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news


Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table Solent


Not only is Bournemouth’s Premier League football club making its mark in the top section of English football with its performances on the field of play, it is also winning honours in the business world.


Having been named a few months ago in the lower echelons of the Top Track 250 league table, which ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies according to sales figures, it has now achieved a top 10 rating in the Fast Track 100 table.


The club achieved ninth place exactly matching its Premier League position when the announcement was made – three places higher than its finishing position last season.


AFC Bournemouth was formed in 1890 and has played its home fixtures at Dean Court Stadium since 1910. Its nickname, the Cherries, comes from the cherry orchards that once surrounded the ground.


Under Eddie Howe – the youngest manager in the top four divisions of English football when he was first appointed in 2009 – the club achieved promotion to the top flight in 2015.


Club affairs under chief executive Neill Blake have seen turnover hit £136.5m last year, an average annual rise over the past three years of 138%. This is thanks to increases in broadcasting rights fees and sponsorship revenues, plus a hard-working staff of 575.


Only one other company from the Solent area made the Fast Track table, the Romsey construction contractor and developer Highwood Group coming in at 74th place.


Nigel Meek, Malcolm Mintram and Nigel Shannon set up this firm in 1987, initially working on affordable housing projects to take advantage of a buoyant market and generous government subsidies.


Forced to diversify when the 2008 financial crisis hit, Highwood expanded into strategic land acquisition and care home developments.


Success in these areas and its potential for growth led the three founders to bring in managing director Guy Hayward in 2015 and he oversaw an increase in sales to £37.8m in the past year, giving an annual rise of 57% over the past three years. The company now employs a staff of some 40 people.


The table is compiled annually by Oxford-based Fast Track and published in the Sunday Times


THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019


businessmag.co.uk


5


MARCH #Hattastic


FRIDAY 29TH


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