Hosting and cliud computing firm also won AIM/Mid sized cap plc of the year
Hosting and cloud computing business Iomart has won the top title at the Scotland plc Awards.
The awards, which are jointly run by Scottish Business Insider and leading accountancy firm PwC, were held at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel last night with broadcaster Robert Peston as guest speaker.
The Glasgow-based company, founded by current chief executive Angus MacSween in 1998, took the Scottish plc of the Year award as well as AIM/Mid sized cap plc of the Year.
The judging panel said they felt Iomart, which is one of Scotland’s smaller listed companies, deserved recognition.
“They have gone from being a small loss-making business through to profitability and now on to building scale in what is a difficult arena; exceptionally impressive,” they said.
Ten years ago the company’s share price was under 5p but during 2011 reached levels more than 20 times that figure.
As well as sustained organic growth the company successfully acquired three rivals – EQSN, Global Gold and Switch Media – in the past 12 months.
The PLC board member of the Year was Lord Smith of Kelvin who was unanimously praised by the panel.
“You simply cannot fault what he has delivered over many years,” said one of the judges of the corporate heavyweight who currently serves as chairman of Weir Group and SSE.
“Very impressive on every level,” said another.
In addition to his business roles he is also chairman of Glasgow 2014, the organising committee for the Commonwealth Games, and a member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the First Minister.
Large plc of the Year was the Glasgow-based engineering giant Weir Group.
“2011 was the year that the evidence really came through that the strategic direction Weir is pursuing is the right one,” commented one of the panel members.
Outstanding Private Company was Edrington Group, which was described by the panel as “a stand-out winner".
The Glasgow-based company grew turnover to £553.4m in 2011, up from £468.3m the previous year, following continued strong growth in markets such as China and Russia.
The Global Reach Award was won by temporary power provider Aggreko which traded in 100 countries during 2011; of its £1.2 billion turnover just seven per cent was generated in the UK.
The Sustainability Award was jointly won by transport giants FirstGroup and Stagecoach Group.
In an unusual decision, the judging panel felt the achievements of FirstGroup and Stagecoach merited a joint award.
The panel was impressed by the scale of ambition and breadth of activity of both companies in striving to facilitate and deliver greener public transport.
Partnerships have been formed between the two rivals in areas such as Glasgow and Sheffield to promote the Greener Journeys campaign to encourage new users of public transport.
“For two competitors to be working together in this way sends a very positive message about their commitment to sustainability issues and is a great example to others,” commented one panel member.
The Social Investment in Scotland Award was won by Ineos Grangemouth, Services and Infrastructure.
The breadth of activity undertaken by Ineos within the local community saw the company triumph in the category.
“Much of what they do is also in areas where it is not obvious they are involved which highlights their clear commitment to social investment,” commented one of the judges.
As well as supporting a wide range of organisations and causes in the local area, Ineos undertakes a number of initiatives to promote science, engineering and technology to young people.
The new Digital Value Creation Award was won by STV Group.
Broadcaster STV’s progress in developing its business to cope with the major challenges facing the media industry saw it win the judges’ vote in the first year of the category.
Frank Blin, executive chairman at PwC in Scotland, who co-hosted the evening, commented: “Over the last 13 years, the Scotland plc Awards have never failed to come up with inspirational business leaders who have created outstanding companies which succeed on national, international and global stages, and this year is no exception.
“Our congratulations go to the winners and all the short-listed companies.”