Companies across the continent face an array of hurdles to growth this year, ranging from a lacklustre economic outlook in several countries to the uncertainties caused by Brexit trade negotiations and risks stemming from the global spread of coronavirus.
Yet the ever-greater pace of growth on this annual FT 1000 ranking — now in its fourth year — suggests that the most nimble and innovative companies are thriving.
The FT 1000, compiled with Statista, a research company, lists the European companies that achieved the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2015 and 2018. Competition is even tougher at the top this year, with companies requiring a minimum growth rate of 38.4 per cent to make the list, compared with 37.7 per cent last year.
Read the full report featuring case studies and analysis from this year’s ranking here.
OakNorth Bank, a UK fintech backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund that specialises in lending to medium-sized businesses, edges Blue Motor Finance off the top spot this year — the British car finance provider now sits in 43rd place. And while 2018’s leader Deliveroo falls out of the latest ranking, Finland’s Wolt is flying the flag for tech-enabled food delivery, in second place.
Only one of the top three companies is among the 268 on the list to have also appeared on 2019’s ranking. A total of 90 companies have ranked in three consecutive years.
The ranking reflects the growing importance of technology, which once again dominates with 189 entrants hailing from the sector. When this is added to the related but discrete categories of fintech and ecommerce, that total climbs to 259.
Most winners come from Germany, closely followed by Italy, the UK and France, with these four nations accounting for about 70 per cent of the overall ranking. London retains its lead as the city with the greatest number of fast-growing companies, followed by Paris and Milan, while Warsaw and Vilnius make the top 10 for the first time.
Scroll below the interactive table for a full methodology.
* Companies marked with an asterisk had less than 12 months of revenue in the 2015 financial year, but it still passed €100,000 revenue.
** Companies marked with a double asterisk have been acquired since the ending of the relevant timeframe.
The FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies is a list of the top 1,000 companies in Europe that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2015 and 2018.
The ranking of the FT 1000 was created through a complex procedure. Although the search was very extensive, the ranking does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not want to make their figures public or did not participate for other reasons.
The project was advertised online and in print, allowing all eligible companies to register via the websites created by Statista and the Financial Times. In addition, through research in company databases and other public sources Statista has identified tens of thousands of companies in Europe as potential candidates for the FT 1000 ranking. These companies were invited to participate in the competition by post, email and telephone.
The application phase ran from September 2 2019 to December 31 2019. The submitted revenue figures had to be certified by the CFO, CEO or a member of the executive committee of the company.
Criteria for inclusion in the list
To be included in the list of Europe’s fastest growing companies, a company had to meet the following criteria:
• Revenue of at least €100,000 generated in 2015 (or currency value equivalent according to the average of the actual fiscal year).
• Revenue of at least €1.5 million generated in 2018 (or currency value equivalent according to the average of the actual fiscal year).
• The company is independent (the company is not a subsidiary or branch office of any kind).
• The revenue growth between 2015 and 2018 was primarily organic (ie “internally” stimulated)
• If a company is listed on a stock exchange, its share price has not fallen 50% or more since 2018.
Companies from these countries were eligible to participate: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Calculation of growth rates
The calculation of company growth rates is based on the revenue figures submitted by the companies in the respective national currency. For better comparability in the ranking the revenue figures were converted into euros. The average exchange rate for the financial year indicated by the company was used for this purpose.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was calculated as follows:
((revenue2018 / revenue2015)^(1/3)) - 1 = CAGR
The absolute growth between 2015 and 2018 was calculated as follows:
(revenue2018 / revenue2015) - 1 = Growth rate
Evaluation and quality assurance
All data reported by the companies was processed and checked by Statista. Missing data entries (employee numbers, address data, etc) were researched in detail. Companies that did not fulfil the criteria for inclusion in the ranking were deleted.
The minimum average growth rate required to be included in the ranking this year was 38.4 per cent.
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