The Watches of Switzerland Group has topped an annual list of 250 private mid-market growth companies in the UK.

For the past 21 years, The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table has ranked Britain’s companies by the sales in their latest available accounts. This year’s league table, released yesterday, shows that Britain’s private mid-market growth companies have prospered despite economic and political uncertainty, and have positioned themselves for further expansion.

Out of 250 companies, jewellery and watch firm Watch of Switzerland, which owns retail outlets Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, and Watch Shop, bagged the top spot.


While the UK side of the business has been going from strength to strength, it is the company’s impressive expansion across America with the backing of private equity firm Apollo, which is believed to have been a driving force behind the top spot.

Chief executive, Brian Duffy, led the acquisition of US chain Mayors Jewelers last year for $105m, which helped boost sales by 21% to $895.1m in the year to April 2018, with profits rising 36% to $48.5m.

On topping the list, Duffy said: “It is great that we are at the top of this prestigious list. Our business is growing well both organically and through acquisitions in the US. Our teams have done a fantastic job of delivering in the busiest period in our history.”

Elsewhere on the list, Graff was the only other jewellery company to be found.

Ranked number 22, The Sunday Times credits the luxury jeweller’s revenue growth to expansion outside of the UK as well.

Sales at Graff increased by 28% to £528.2m in 2017, with profits nearly tripling to £56.5m.

The 250 companies achieved combined sales of $87.1bn, an 18% increase year-on-year, with record profits of $8.4bn, up 27%, employing a total of 435,000 people, up 10%.