Fastest growing companies Scotland

The Fastest-Growing Companies in Scotland | 2024

 23 May 2024
Table of contents

For many years, we’ve published research on the UK’s leading innovation ecosystems — from top Glasgow startups and scaleups to the leading high-growth tech firms in Bristol.

Last year, we also penned a piece on the fastest-growing companies in the UK. This time we’re doing things a little differently, analysing the state of the high-growth economy in each individual UK nation.

This will help you uncover the key insights and trends behind both market leaders and hidden gems in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example, you’ll discover which companies are the biggest employers in each nation’s high-growth ecosystem, how businesses are achieving their growth, and which industries are seeing the biggest growth.

The first in this series of articles takes us to Scotland, home to the unicorn SkyScanner, a burgeoning offshore wind industry, and Tunnock’s tea cakes (an office favourite at Beauhurst HQ).

Finding Scotland’s fastest-growing companies

To identify the fastest-growing companies in Scotland, we’ve calculated turnover growth between each company’s two most recent financial statements.

To be included in the analysis, a company must have had comparable statements for the last two financial years, reported at least £100k in turnover during their most recent financial statement, and hit one of our Growth Signals.

Discover how our client, Crowdcube, uses Beauhurst to win new clients and keep up to date with the latest industry trends

Mapping Scotland’s high-growth company landscape

Before delving into the companies that made the list, let’s take a closer look at Scotland’s high-growth ecosystem.

Of the 916 high-growth companies in Scotland, Glasgow takes the crown for the highest percentage of high-growth companies, with a total of 135 organisations and features three times in our list. Edinburgh is not too far behind, with 114, whilst Aberdeen’s 77 companies take third place.

Unsurprisingly, Glasgow has created the most turnover of every region, with £10.1b generated by high-growth companies. Meanwhile, Renfrewshire’s £7b in turnover makes it the second-largest region for revenue.

In fact, over half of this has been produced by automotive dealer Arnold Clark — Scotland’s biggest employer in the high-growth space. Finally, Aberdeen, which has seen the largest increase in employment numbers, comes in third with £5.4b turnover generated.

Finally, our team analysed which industries are experiencing rapid growth by assessing the proportion of high-growth companies by industry.

Distribution and wholesale (16.2%) is officially the fastest-growing industry across Scotland, with property development and construction (13.3%) a close second place. Meanwhile, heavy equipment and machinery (8.2%) is the third-fastest high-growth industry.

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Scotland's Top 10 Fastest-Growing Companies

Scotland’s business scene is seeing solid growth post-pandemic, especially in travel, engineering, renewable energy, and hospitality.

Here are the top 10 companies in Scotland seeing the fastest-growth in turnover.


Signature Group

Local authority: Edinburgh
Employee count:
Turnover: 137%

Signature Group has run a range of hospitality venues across Scotland since 2003, including the high-profile acquisition of Edinburgh’s boutique hotel The Rutland Hotel in 2007. In 2016, the group added Three Thistles plc to its portfolio.

With 137% turnover growth following the COVID-19 pandemic, Signature Group is a leading light for the pub and hospitality sector across Scotland.


Well-Safe Solutions

Local authority: Aberdeen
Employee count:
Turnover: 141%

Well-Safe Solutions operates a plug and abandonment decommissioning service for spent oil and gas wells in the North Sea. Based in Aberdeen, and with an onshore marine base in the Port of Dundee, Well-Safe Solutions has benefitted from £118m in equity investment, with £61.2m raised in its most recent 2022 round.

The company has overseen 141% growth in turnover based on its two most recent financial statements, lifting it into our top 10 fastest-growing Scottish companies.


Surgeons Quarter

Local authority: Edinburgh
Employee count:
Turnover: 160%

Surgeons Quarter, located in the City of Edinburgh, operates in the hospitality sector, primarily focusing on managing venues, accommodation, and events linked to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Following the end of COVID-19 restrictions, the company saw its employee count leap from 74 to 126, with turnover hitting a record high of over £9m. This was a real-term increase of 160% from the previous year.


Connect Appointments

Local authority: Glasgow
Employee count:
Turnover: 201%

Connect Appointments is a recruitment agency that facilitates employment across various industries including healthcare, engineering, and the industrial sector. Based in Glasgow, Connect Appointments has experienced a significant turnover growth of 201%, in addition to a 23% increase in headcount.

As identified in this article, construction and heavy equipment are currently among the most prevalent industries in the high-growth Scottish business landscape. In this context, Connect Appointments’ focus on engineering and industrial recruitment has likely contributed to the company’s success.


Central Plains Group

Local authority: Angus
Employee count:
Turnover: 207%

Angus-based Central Plains Group (trading as CPG) is an agritech company, developing zero-waste farming and food processing technology. Between its latest two financial statements, CPG has seen turnover increase by 207% and its headcount grow by almost 50%.

With three successive rounds of fundraising between March 2020 and May 2021, the business raised a total of £9.31m in equity fundraising, with Crowdcube the majority stakeholder.


Well-SENSE Technology

Local authority: Aberdeen
Employee count:
Turnover: 242%

Well-SENSE Technology, headquartered in Aberdeen, specialises in downhole sensing technologies for the oil and gas industry. Using fibre optic spool, the company received a patent for the technology in 2017, before being acquired later that same year by FrontRow Energy Partners.

Their latest financial statement reveals £4.53m in turnover, 242% growth on their previous numbers.


CCL Components

Local authority: South Lanarkshire
Employee count:
Turnover: 293%

Number four on our list is CCL Components, a specialist distributor of power supply and renewable energy products. The South Lanarkshire company provides a wide range of components, including batteries, inverters, and solar panels, catering to various industries such as telecommunications, transportation, and industrial sectors.

CCL’s recent activity demonstrates an impressive turnover growth of 293%, hitting £182m in turnover in their latest financial statement.


Texo Group

Local authority: Aberdeenshire
Employee count:
Turnover: 331%

Texo Group specialises in technology-led integrated engineering services across various industries, from oil and gas to offshore renewables. The Aberdeenshire company offers a comprehensive range of services, including engineering, fabrication, inspection, and maintenance.

With a 331% growth in turnover, Texo Group is number three on our list of high-growth companies in Scotland.


If Only

Local authority: Glasgow
Employee count:
Turnover: 453%

If Only, a Glasgow-based travel agency offering luxury holiday packages worldwide is second on our list. Acquired by The Portman Travel Group in 2019, If Only was — like all global travel agencies — hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2021.

However, since then, If Only has gone on to reach pre-pandemic turnover numbers, and garner an impressive 453% growth in turnover.


Barrhead Travel

Local authority: Glasgow
Employee count:
Turnover: 685%

Barrhead Travel is the second travel agency on our list and takes the number one spot as the fastest-growing Scottish company. Barrhead Travel has achieved a massive 685% growth in turnover.

While its turnover of £57m has not reached the heights of £128m in 2017, the company’s operating profit is higher than ever before due to greater efficiencies across the business. Our research, available to all subscribers, also indicates that the company contributed £13m to the Scottish economy in the previous financial year.

What are Growth Signals and how do we calculate them?

We know that just having data isn’t the answer — you also need to be able to interpret it.

That’s why we created Signals as a way to make our data easier to understand. Beauhurst Signals mean that our clients don’t need to be data analysts to do sophisticated work, they just need to hit a few buttons.

To determine Scotland’s fastest growing companies, we utilised Growth Signals. These are:

If a company is associated with any of these indicators, it will be assigned a Growth Signal.

Methods of growth

To produce this list, we looked at how high-growth Scottish companies are achieving their growth.

Of the 916 Scottish companies with a Growth Signal, 19% of them have received equity funding during their period of growth. This is slightly above the UK average of 16.6%, once England, Wales, and Northern Ireland’s numbers are taken into account. Meanwhile, 4.4% of companies attended an accelerator — the largest percentage in the UK, beating out England’s 4.2%.

Another interesting find is that Edinburgh hosts fewer of these companies than one might expect. Only 12% of high-growth companies in Scotland are based in the capital. Instead, the wealth is spread further afield with Glasgow and Aberdeen also boasting a strong cohort.

Meanwhile, an impressive 52% of high-growth companies in Scotland are 20% scaleups, meaning they achieved three consecutive years of growth above 20%. And just under one third (32.9%) featured in high-growth lists across the same period.

Access live data

If you want to know more about fast-growing companies in Scotland and the rest of the UK, we can help. Access to Beauhurst data platforms enables you to get early visibility on promising industry leaders. So you can spot businesses on the precipice of growing big, early on.

Find market trends, save time researching and never miss an opportunity with our data. To discuss subscription-types and take a look at the platform, get in touch. We’re always happy to help.

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