Launch of North East's Top 200 businesses

THE success of the biggest companies in the region was toasted at the launch of the North East Top 200 by the region's business community.

THE success of the biggest companies in the region was toasted at the launch of the North East Top 200 by the region's business community.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) took the award for being top of the Journal’s league of the largest firms in the North East by revenues yesterday after seeing sales of more than £3.3bn in the year to the end of March 2010.

The Japanese car-maker’s massive Wearside operation, which also won the award for being the biggest inbound company, beat Sunderland-based transport giant Arriva into second place in the league.

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Nissan Vice President for supply chain management Tony Laydon, said: “It is very pleasing to be recognised for the role we play in the North East economy. The award itself is based on the record level of business the company has generated across Europe, which is a good sign of how Nissan has recovered from the global financial crisis. We believe Nissan has been good for the North East and we hope the region agrees.

“At the same time, the North East has also been very good for Nissan and we count ourselves lucky to have such a productive workforce here.

“Our Sunderland plant has a proven track record in making high-quality cars in high volumes for the international market.”

An audience of leading business men and women applauded the winners of five trophies at the Top 200 launch at the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle yesterday.

Prizes also went to Newcastle- based car dealer Benfield as the top privately-owned company, Middlesbrough-based Gibson O’Neill as the highest climber and Northallerton-based R&R Ice Cream as the highest new entrant.

Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “It has never been more important to celebrate the vital role played by our region’s largest companies. There are challenges ahead, but also great opportunities. We have some wonderful businesses located here doing terrific, exciting things. They are proof that, whatever the economy may throw at us, this region will pull through strongly – just as it always has before.”

The league is commissioned by the Journal, compiled by Durham Business School and sponsored by accountancy firm PWC.

Paul Woolston, senior partner at PWC Newcastle, said: “There was a lot of positive energy and confidence at the event which was really encouraging.

“The diversity of the list was interesting. There is a rich mix of businesses from successful businesses with private equity and successful family businesses which highlight the range of strong companies we have in the region. “Now we hope that the companies that are not in the Top 200, but are the next 200 biggest companies, will be inspired to greater success and want to join the premier league.”

To order a copy of the Top 200, contact Liz Ferguson on


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer