Leightons leaps onto list of 100 fast-growth companies to watch in 2016

Opticians and hearing care company is selected for business spotlight due to it ambitious development plans, including refurbishment of its practices

29 Apr 2016 by Robina Moss

Chief executive of Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care, Ryan Leighton

Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care has made it on to The Leap 100 2016 – a list of the 100 most exciting fast-growth companies in the UK.

The company was selected to go onto the prestigious list because of its growth, leadership, teamwork and ambitious development plans. It has 34 practices in the south of England and a head office in Farnham, Surrey.

All the companies selected demonstrated substantial growth over the past 12 months and have been identified as the ‘ones to watch’ for 2016.

The judges highlighted that Leightons employs 236 people and has recently embarked on an extensive refurbishment programme of all of its practices, combining the optical and audiology business within contemporary designed environments, fusing technology, clinical services and fashion.

The company aims to double the size of its audiology business by 2017, while substantially growing the number of keystone practices through a combination of company-owned, franchise and joint venture business models.

Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care chief executive, Ryan Leighton (pictured), said: “We are honoured to be included in this year’s The Leap 100 and to be recognised alongside so many great businesses for our leadership, teamwork, innovation, growth and ambition.”

The list was launched by City AM, a publication targeting the London business community, and one of London's leading law firms, Mishcon de Reya.

They teamed up with The Supper Club, a membership club for fast-growth company founders and chief executives; The Entrepreneurs Network, a business think tank, and campaigning company, Seven Hills, to compile the list.

The high-growth companies in the UK included on the list have both reached, or are close to reaching, the £10m revenue mark in the preceding five years and have the ambition to double in size in the next three years.

The companies have a proven record of taking the business from start-up to high growth phase and have an established team working to drive the business forward.

City AM editor, Christian May, said: “The UK has a thriving small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) community making up 99.9% of the private sector. However, for the majority of companies, the key question continues to be how companies scale in order to grow to their full potential.

“The purpose of this list is to showcase the UK companies succeeding in doing this, as well as identifying those that we as a nation need to be aware of – they are a triumph.”

Mishcon de Reya partner, Nick Davis, said: "This stage of a company's growth can be very dramatic, with risks of serious setbacks and sudden lows, but with high rewards for those who make it to the other side.

The Leap 100 campaign examines and celebrates the hurdles and opportunities that fast-growing companies face. We launched The Leap 100 in 2015 to support a select group of some of the UK's most exciting, high-growth companies.

“This year's list is yet again a dynamic group of companies to watch," he concluded.