JCB has been awarded the UK’s private business of the year accolade – and took the opportunity to say family businesses are “the principal wealth generator of the economy”.
The construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer, known for its bright yellow machinery, took the top prize at the Private Business Awards 2012, held in the Royal Opera House in London on 6 September.
Non-family Alan Blake, chief executive of JCB, said it was a “great honour” to win. “It spurs us on to achieve even greater things.”
But he was quick to point out that the firm, which had revenues of £2.75 billion (€3.46 billion) in 2011, was not just a private business, but a family business. The company was founded by Joseph Bamford and is now chaired by his son, Sir Anthony.
“We believe in family businesses as the principal wealth generator of the economy and we are proud to be at the heart of that effort," said Blake.
At the awards, which were sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in association with HSBC Private Bank, OCS Group was also named family business of the year.
The company is the UK’s largest family-owned facilities management group – and has operations in five continents. Owned by the Goodliffe family, it had sales of £689 million in 2011.
Other winners on the night included David Sudden of family-controlled R Griggs Group, who was named chief executive of the year, and Instarmac Group, which took the employer award.
Chrissie Rucker of the White Company was give the private business woman of the year accolade, while Mind Candy, creator of children’s online networking game Moshi Monsters, was named the rising star.