MID-MARKET firms in Yorkshire outperformed the national average and beat their German rivals in revenue growth last year, according to detailed new research.
The in-depth study by Warwick Business School for GE Capital shines a light on the importance of the UK’s medium-sized businesses, which range in turnover from £15m-£800m.
It found that mid-market firms in Yorkshire grew by 2.8 per cent last year, compared to the UK average of 2.3 per cent and the German average of 2.4 per cent.
Yorkshire firms failed to match their counterparts in London and the East of England, however, which grew by 3.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
The report also highlighted the north-south divide, with firms in the South of England leading on revenue growth and job creation last year.
Nationwide, the study revealed that UK firms are much more bullish about their outlook over the next 12 months than rivals in Germany, France and Italy.
Professor Stephen Roper, who wrote the report, said: “The UK mid-market is confident of future growth, however there are elements of the UK business ecosystem which need further attention in order for it to reach its full potential.
“A clear regional divide is evident, as firms in the South are growing at a quicker rate than Northern counterparts.
“This needs to be addressed to enable the rebalancing potential of the mid-market to be achieved.”
Growth in the South reached 3 per cent last year, while firms in the North only managed to achieve 1.2 per cent, according to the research.
The report said that the mid-market – which constitutes 27,850 firms or 1.67 per cent of UK businesses – provides more than one third of private sector GDP and one third of employment.
It added that 17 per cent of mid-market firms are delivering double-digit growth year on year.
The UK is home to a greater proportion of so-called “Growth Champions” than any of the other European markets surveyed, including the German Mittelstand, said the report.
Ilaria del Beato, chief executive of GE Capital UK, said: “Our research shows that mid-market firms really are the drivers of UK GDP and are absolutely essential to future economic prosperity.”