Ten of the Best - Europe
We profiled ten European companies featured in our 2019 Growth Leaders Europe ranking.
Number 5) The Renewables Group (UK)
Sixty-one. That's the number of renewable energy projects in which the UK Renewables Infrastructure Group has invested. These wind farms and solar power plants are located in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland and have a total generating capacity of 938 MW. Founded in 2013, Renewables Infrastructure Group, which doesn’t directly manage any project but does contribute to its financing, promises investors a stable and long-term profitability. It’s an enticing model: the fund raised 79.1 million pounds in November 2018 thanks to a new share-issue.
Number 22) Bip&Drive (Spain)
Created in 2014, the Spanish group has become, in four years, the leader in the electronic toll market in its country and is setting off to conquer Europe.
Bip&Drive's success owes a lot to its model. Unlike most of its competitors, the Via-T payment badge is available to users free of charge. The company offers flexible and attractive rates, with pay-per-use or flat rates. Recourse to Via-T is not confined to the payment of tolls: it is accepted in more and more car parks and should eventually be accepted at service stations and car washes.
Bip&Drive targets having 1.2 million users in 2019, and due to its success, it has decided to export its services to its European neighbours. Since 2018, the Via-T is accepted not only on Spanish motorways but also Portuguese and French ones. To develop its presence in France, Bip&Drive has partnered with French company Bip&Go.
Number 83) The Ritz London (UK)
One-thousand pounds, or 1,115 euros, is the minimum price you will need to pay for a night at the Ritz London. Founded in 1906 by César Ritz, the establishment, which was voted the best hotel in Europe in 2016 and 2017 by the Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards, has been able to adapt to the changes in its customer demographic, as well as heightened competition. In response to the increase in internet bookings and the explosion of price-comparison sites, the hotel has introduced the IDeaS Rate Optimization Service, which continuously analyses room occupancy rate and demand and adjusts prices accordingly. This tool has allowed the group to increase its annual turnover by 2%.
Number 94) Cloudreach (UK)
Specializing in cloud computing consulting, the UK company works with global cloud leaders: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. The firm advises companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue in the implementation of cloud storage solutions. In August 2018, Cloudreach acquired American rival Relus Cloud. This purchase allowed the London outfit to strengthen its presence in the United States and develop its skills in data analysis and machine learning.
Number 99) Blackwood Seven (Denmark)
The Danish company, founded in 2013, wants to revolutionize the very exclusive world of media agencies by emphasizing the transparency of its tariffs and artificial intelligence. The platform developed by Blackwood Seven uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to optimize real-time marketing campaigns for its customers. The company's second asset is its fixed-fee system, which has enabled Blackwood Seven to gain customers in Europe, the United States and Asia. In May 2018, the firm raised 16.8 million euros to develop and improve the predictive performance of its platform.
Number 142) Happy Socks (Sweden)
Founded in 2008, this manufacturer and distributor of underwear was bought in 2017 by the European fund Palamon Capital Partners and valued at 80 million euros. The Scope fund, which initially invested in the Swedish brand, won its wager. Happy Socks sales increased by 140% between 2015 and 2017. Present in more than 90 countries, the company expanded its business and opened its 100th store in December 2018 in the heart of Times Square in New York.
Number 144) La Piadineria (Italy)
Since 1994, the Italian group offers a single-product fast food service and has more than 200 points of sale mostly in Italy. Less known than pizza or pasta, Piadina is an Italian specialty consisting of flatbread topped with fresh products. Following the €250 million investment from the Permira fund, La Piadineria is partnering with FrenchFood Capital to develop its activity in France. The creation of a joint venture should allow it to develop the brand in France and accelerate its rollout. The former McDonald's and Accor executive, Denis Hennequin, will lead this major project.
Number 219) Therme Bucuresti (Hungary)
Established in 2016 20 km from Bucharest, Therme Bucuresti is the largest spa centre in Europe. It is built on a 30,000 m² site, which include 3,000 m² of pools, a botanical garden, terraces, slides as well as spas and saunas and can accommodate up to 4,000 visitors at a time. The Austrian group A-Heat put up 50 million euros for its construction. It turned out to be a profitable investment seeing as Therme Bucuresti generated nearly 29 million euros in turnover in 2017.
Number 239) Franciscan Well Brewery (Ireland)
Irish brewery Franciscan Well, created by Shane Long in Cork, celebrated 20 years in existence in 2018. Five years after being acquired by Molson Coors, the company has made strong commitments for 2025 including the establishment of a ‘sustainable’ brewery, involving not only the reduction of water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions but also the use of barley from a sustainable malting sector. Sláinte, and see you in 2025.
Number 355) Froeya Salmon (Norway)
Founded in 2015, the Norwegian company specializes in seafood products. Its activities are mainly focused on farming, processing and selling fish for both artisans and the agri-food industry. Froeya has made a specialty of ultra-fresh salmon used for making sushi. The company's growth has been supported by the increase in global demand for this fish, driven by Chinese consumers. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, the price of a kilo of salmon went up 23%. This allowed Froeya Salmon to show a growth of more than 135% in three years, and a turnover equivalent to 615 million euros in 2017.
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