Manchester-based Unicom, which specialises in providing telecom services to small businesses, has been named in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, to add to its Sunday Times Profit Track 100 success earlier this year.
Unicom is one of only three businesses nationwide, and the only company outside London, to appear in both the Profit Track and Fast track top 100 for 2006 by achieving a combination of rapid sales growth and accelerating profits.
Fast Track charts Britain’s fastest-growing companies by turnover growth over a three year period – and Unicom is rated as the 89th fastest growing private company in the UK with its turnover rising by 65.3% each year.
Last week, Unicom filed its accounts for the year ending April 2006 and reported a 45.5% increase in sales and a massive 127% rise in profits in its seventh trading year.
The company, which has regional offices across the country, saw turnover increase from £21.3 million to £31.0 million, with pre-tax profits at £5.2 million compared to £2.3 million to the end of April 2005. These increases ensure that Unicom will appear in the 2007 Sunday Times league tables. Unicom expects turnover for the current year to exceed £40 million.
“Why are we performing so well? Well, we provide our customers with highly competitive prices, which we fix for three years, and we ensure that all customers genuinely receive the highest possible levels of customer service,” said Chris Earle, Unicom’s Operations Director.
“We’re a relatively small business with a small, closely-knit and efficient management team – and we are absolutely clear in our minds about what makes the difference to our customers: a UK call centre with real people answering the telephone, 98% of calls answered within six seconds, and managers and directors who are hands-on and accessible.
“Our customer retention level is currently running at 86% against a sector average of around 70%. Of the 14% we lose, only a few per cent go to competitors, the remainder being businesses that close or move premises for one reason or another, which is obviously beyond our control.”
Unicom has 55,000 customers, primarily small or owner-managed businesses with telephone bills of approximately £1,000 a year. The specialised nature of the telephony and broadband products offered by Unicom provides significant savings for its business users.
“We’ve not actually had a price increase since we started offering our telecom services in 2001,” said Chris Earle.
“We use BT Openreach’s infrastructure and network, so beyond the occasional glitches any provider can expect, our service is as robust as they come.”