Southern formula firm tops index

Southland's Blue River Dairy has topped Deloitte’s Master of Growth index with a staggering 1502% revenue growth over the past five years.

The company, which produces specialist sheep, goat and cow infant formulas, has been a Southland export success story.

It was founded by Southland entrepreneur Keith Neylon in 2004 and the processing plant, retail shop and brand were later sold to Chinese businessman Yuanrong Chen.

While the Master of Growth index was a national one, Deloitte partner Kyle Cameron, based in Dunedin, said it was also an opportunity to celebrate winners from the Dunedin and lower South Island region.

Each year, the region was well represented on both the Fast 50 and Master of Growth indices and this year was no different; 25% of the Master of Growth index of 20 were from Dunedin and the lower South Island.

Two were in the top five — Blue River Dairy and HVS Motors, which had 546% growth, while Education Perfect (316%) was sixth and Wanaka’s Mons Royale (169%) 14th.

Independent digital electricity company Electric Kiwi, with 1348% growth, and cellular health company MitoQ, with 984%, were second and third respectively on the index.

Introduced in 2017, the Master of Growth index ranks the 20 fastest growing established businesses achieving longer-term sustained growth. It ranks firms starting from a larger revenue base, and over five years of revenue growth.

Six Dunedin and lower South Island businesses featured on the Fast 50 index — Crew Consulting (26th), Remarkable People (28th), Stoked Stainless (31st), HVS Motors (37th), Education Perfect (42nd) and Pacific Edge (48th).

Blue River Dairy placed in the Fast 50 index in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and placed in the top five in the latter two years.

Auckland-based digital classroom platform company Kami secured the top spot in the Fast 50 with 1177% revenue growth over the past three years. The index ranks firms experiencing rapid revenue growth over three years and is described as setting the benchmark for high-growth businesses in New Zealand.

Digital transformation specialists Duco Ltd (670%), creative and digital agency Topham Guerin (557%), freight aggregator company Parcelport (479%) and financial advisory firm Aurora Financial (467%) completed the top five fastest growing private companies in New Zealand.

Now in its 21st year, the competition was not held last year due to Covid-19 disruptions.

It was decided to hold it virtually this year, to celebrate business excellence, and Mr Cameron said he was very pleased to see businesses continuing to grow, despite the challenges of the past 18 months.

"Given the current challenges facing our business community due to Covid-19, this year’s Fast 50/Master of Growth indices are particularly significant," he said.

"These businesses have managed to maintain healthy growth, despite what has been thrown at them, and are a beacon of hope on the horizon. They demonstrate what is possible even when times get hard."

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