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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Coral heads top 100 private firms
Coral betting shop
Coral Eurobet owns 1,200 betting shops
Betting and gaming firm Coral Eurobet has been named the most successful private company in the UK.

The Essex-based firm, which has internet and betting shop customers, topped the Sunday Times KPMG Top Track 100 list with turnover of 5.4bn.

Previous winner, retailer John Lewis, was second while the highest newcomer was fourth-placed cash-and-carry firm Booker, with sales of 3.4bn.

Other new entries included Iceland (21st) and the AA (40th).

Furniture retailer DFS, which was taken off the London Stock Exchange by its founder Lord Kirkham in September 2004, was placed 60th.

'Trend to continue'

Other household names to make the list were retailer Debenhams, which was ninth, and cereal maker Weetabix, which was 89th.

Mel Egglenton, head of middle market at KPMG, said the list showed private firms were "vital to the success of the economy".

"The league table also shows that management are increasingly involved as stakeholders in their business and nearly half of the entire 100 companies are private-equity backed," he added.

"We expect this trend to continue in years to come."

The companies generated combined sales of 97bn and employed more than 930,000 people in their latest financial year.

More than half are based in London and the South East, while 22 Midlands firms were included, 13 are based in the North, five in Scotland, four in eastern England and two in the South West.

The list, which is in its fourth year, was compiled by research company Fast Track and is similar to the Forbes' list of the biggest companies in the US.

Coral dismisses share float talk
17 May 04 |  Business
Scottish firms make top 100 chart
26 Jun 04 |  Scotland
Coral betting chain sold for 860m
02 Aug 02 |  Business

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