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Everwarm turning up the heat as solar sales soar

A solar panel installation and housing insulation business has been named the fastest growing in Scotland, by a new independent research survey.

Everwarm, based in Bathgate, West Lothian, came top of the Fast 50 Scotland table after posting a 561% increase in sales to £7.12 million.

Since being set up in 2010 by former Carillion staff it has installed energy-efficiency products in more than 23,000 households and now employs more than 180 people.

In August it added a 10,000 sq ft depot in Bedford as part of its push into England.

The stellar growth performance left it well ahead of the second-placed firm, Aberdeen software consultancy Intelligent Plant.

The company works with a number of oil and gas businesses and saw its annual sales rise 124% to £617,500.

Glasgow's Redpath Construction, led by Jim Redpath and Derek Clark, came in third with a near 107% increase to £6.26m.

Since its formation in 2008 it has expanded into Ireland and England as well as winning a number of public sector projects in Scotland.

The other businesses making up the top five were Glasgow's WGM Engineering which posted 106.7% growth to £10.8m and Milngavie based Dieselec Thistle Generators which was up 105.61% to £19.9m.

Companies on the list come from sectors including building, energy services, retail, recruitment, manufacturing, property, food service and manufacturing.

The Fast 50 S list – compiled by Ayrshire based management consultancy Personal Best – is compiled from companies which are profitable and must have had at least £100,000 of sales in the prior comparable year.

The businesses also have to lodge full accounts at Companies House.

Barry Duddy, of Personal Best, said: "We wanted to recognise the companies out there which are swinging the bat and doing well. Other lists may not recognise smaller companies with less than £1m of sales which are doing well and we wanted this to focus exclusively in Scotland."

Mr Duddy said Everwarm had benefited from strong business conditions in its sector.

He added: It is in an industry which over the period happened to be Government-sponsored at the time.

"The company had a bit of form in terms of momentum after it was formed from a Carillion buy-out.

"It was in the right space and has smart people driving it."

He admitted to surprise that firms from sectors such as construction and plant hire had made the list given the economic difficulties facing businesses in those industries.

He was also impressed at the number of businesses from Aberdeen and the north-east which made the list which underlines the surging oil and gas industry is rippling out to companies of all sizes.

Mr Duddy added: "It is clear there is almost a micro-economy going on up there especially when you look at other data like house prices."

Glasgow was the place with the highest number of businesses on the list at 17 followed by Aberdeen with eight.

The oldest company on the list was Ayrshire Precision Engineering, founded in 1969, which came in at No 43 after recording 43% growth to £1.67m.

Mr Duddy came up with the idea to compile the list while working on mentoring a business which hoped to double sales across a trading year.

He now intends to publish the Fast 50 annually and is also looking into a similar list looking at profit numbers.

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