Virgin tops travel’s Sunday Times Top Track list

Just five privately run travel companies made this weekend’s Sunday Times Top Track 100 firms with Virgin Atlantic leading the pack.

The list, now in its tenth year, is compiled by Oxford-based Fast Track and sponsored by Deloittes and sets out to reveal which are the top performing privately-owned firms in the UK.

West Sussex-based Virgin Atlantic saw its ranking drop two places to twelfth on the list having seen its profits dip £57 million in its financial year ending February 2010.

The Top Track list takes the latest financial year available to compile its ranking meaning some firms’ rankings are based on year ends in 2011.

Behind Virgin the travel industry doesn’t feature in the top 50 at all but Bourne Leisure, that operates the Butlins and Haven holiday parks  and Warner Leisure Breaks, comes in at 62nd, down from 57th last year.

Bourne is one place above Merlin Entertainments Group, the operator of Legoland and Madame Tussauds among other attractions, that recently announced a move into Japan. It saw sales increase to £801 million on 2010 with profits of £256 million.

Monarch Holdings was the next travel company on the list grabbing 66th spot (58th last year). The group, which includes tour operator Cosmos Holidays, seat-only operator Avro and accommodation-only supplier Somewheer2stay, saw sales of £757 million but profits of just £47 million.

Foreign exchange specialist Travelex was the biggest mover taking 74th, up from 95th in last year’s list.

The Top Track 100 was headed by pharmaceutical retailer Alliance Boots, chemical manufacturer Ineos Group, road fuels supplier Greenergy, retail giant John Lewis Partnerhship and steel trader Stemcor.

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