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There are close to 170 coronavirus vaccines under development around the world. Some trials are quite advanced but, there’s no point being first to market if your drug is not 100% safe and 100% reliable

So, we are unlikely to be lining up at our GP surgery to get our jab until next year.

Does this mean that the one- metre rule will stay in place until the vaccine arrives? We don’t know the answer. As we write this, the uncertainty continues.

On the basis that local lockdowns and mini-spikes might become the new norm as summer recedes and we head towards cooler temperatures, we at The Business Magazine have been revising and re-revising our events calendar.

We are working with our long-term partners, Liquid Media Live Events, to produce virtual awards events that mirror our physical awards nights.

The online events will include networking elements and opportunities to interact with sponsors and guests.

Our first events are the two Tech Awards – Thames Valley and South Coast. Nominations are free, as is ‘attendance’ – so join us in the autumn for what will be an exciting showcase of the best of technology and telecoms in the region.

David Murray Publisher


Making the Profit Track Thames Valley

With good news in short supply in some sectors, the Reading IT consultancy Invenio Business Solutions kept up its good track record by becoming one of the top private concerns in the UK when it came to profit making.

The company, now with 16 offices across 11 countries, generated 62% of its sales overseas and had profits of £7.5 million from sales of almost £33m last year – giving an average growth of almost 103% over the past three years. This earned fourth place (up from 52nd last year) in the latest Sunday Times Profit Track 100 league table, which was reduced to 70 and published as a special Profit Track Covid-19 edition.

Invenio uses SAP business management software to solve challenges for its clients, as well as offering analytics and consultancy services. Founded in 2006, the firm now has over 700 staff and is run by chief executive Arun Bala.

Seven other Thames Valley-based companies made the table, headed by BAP Pharma (11th), the Slough pharmaceuticals supplier which has a staff of just 14. Founded in 2010 by former research scientist Bashir Parkar, it works with many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to supply drugs used in clinical trials.

Profits reached £6.5m in 2018 from sales of £77m, an average profit growth of 89%. Its warehouse and logistics departments remain open during the lockdown, enabling it to continue to distribute drugs globally.

Ede Homes, the Witney housebuilder, gained 16th place after 2018 profits reached £3.8m from sales of £12.8m, giving an average growth of 78%. Managing director Daniel Ede now runs the firm which his grandfather founded above an Oxfordshire chip shop in 1959.

2020 4

With a staff of just 21, it specialises in mid-priced traditional homes and also co-owns about 300 rental properties. Last year Ede bought the

Victoria Hotel in Oxford as part of a joint venture.

A Guildford company that spent four years on development before debuting its payment processing platform for online retailers gained 32nd place. Payen, founded by chairman Alexander MacAngus and chief executive Richard Smith in 2010, helps clients increase their credit card acceptance rates worldwide, reducing so-called “basket abandonment”.

Profits rose to £3.6m last year from sales of £14.2m (average growth 66%), with businesses in Canada, Australia and Nigeria now using its platform. Payen is another example of big profits coming from a small staff – just 26 employees.

Canagan, a high-end pet food supplier, whose name is said to mean “wolf cub” in an ancient Celtic language, uses ancient ingredients such as Scottish salmon, free-range chicken and game.

Based at Wooburn Green near Beaconsfield, the firm’s products are stocked in independent retailers and are sold in more than 45 countries, and in lockdown it continued to deliver pet food to homes and pet stores. Profits hit £5.9m in 2019 from sales of £29.5m (average growth 64%) under director James Milbourne, son of founder Eddie. Another company with a staff of just 26.

Former Travelex director Clive Nation founded Cennox (47th) at Camberley in 2004 to provide anti- fraud and security devices for cash dispensers. Profits were boosted to £4.3m in 2018 from sales of almost £74m (growth 57%).

It is backed by BGF which has invested £13m since 2012, and recent acquisitions include the cash-machine installation company Acketts and security device company Lockpoint. Making use of present circumstances, it recently began producing hand sanitiser.

More than 75 million people in 150 countries use software from Farnborough-based Exclaimer (50th) which helps firms manage


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