Hertfordshire’s privately owned businesses are thriving, achieving a combined turnover of £13.2bn last year, according to new data from leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The 11th edition of the Hertfordshire Limited report – compiled by Grant Thornton and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce – analysed private companies in the region and highlighted the county’s top 100 companies based on reported turnover.

The analysis revealed the £13.2 billion figure was achieved thanks to a 22% increase in turnover from the previous year. There was also a significant increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) to £842.2 million, a 14% rise from the prior year accounts of the Top 100 companies featured.

The county’s Business Support Services sector is the largest sector by number of companies and turnover, with 31 firms generating £3.4 billion turnover. Other strong sectors include property and construction, food and beverage, leisure and retail and wholesale.


Overall employee numbers increased by 11% during the period under review, while, despite the multitude of hurdles businesses continue to face across the UK, Hertfordshire companies are continuing to invest, with fixed assets up 4.2% from the previous year.

These strong results reflect the strength in depth across every corner of the county, with analysis of our report revealing that Hertfordshire’s 10 districts are all well represented and significantly contributing to its success, with Dacorum (13), Watford (13) and St Albans (12) boasting the most companies.

The report identified the top five largest privately owned companies by turnover in Hertfordshire as:

  • Lamex Food Group (Broxbourne)
  • Willmott Dixon (North Hertfordshire)
  • JRL Group (Hertsmere)
  • CP Holdings (Watford)
  • Medivet Group (Watford)

Mike Tillson, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:

“Our latest Hertfordshire Limited report provides an invaluable insight into the county’s economy, how the region’s leading businesses have dealt with difficult economic headwinds and where the bedrock for future growth lies.

“From our engagement with firms in compiling this report, what stood out was their commitment to not overlooking staff welfare in the pursuit of growth, and the importance in investing in local communities as profit increases. For this reason, among others, the business community in Hertfordshire are exemplars, setting a path that should inspire others.

“I’d like to congratulate all the companies that comprise this year’s top 100 and  thank them for the work they do. It is their ambition, commitment to innovation and  using business as a force for good that makes Hertfordshire such an inspiring place to do business.”

Donna Schultz, Managing Director, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said:

“There is so much to celebrate about the businesses that are based in the county. The mix is diverse with all municipal areas bringing their own unique offering to the table with a range of industries represented.

“We are well-placed for growth with so many new industries appearing alongside the traditional as the county readies itself for the future.

“Agriculture sits comfortably alongside technology and logistics with an increasing emphasis on more modern growth sectors. Stevenage has developed into a centre for innovation and research, while the south of the county is becoming synonymous with the entertainment industry developing its own mini-Hollywood.

“There is always cause for optimism, with the Chamber playing a key role in promoting the area and supporting the organisations within Hertfordshire.”