Final call for entries

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The Independent Online
THERE are just a few days left in which businesses wanting to win a place in this year's Independent 100 listing of Britain's fastest- growing private companies can apply, writes Roger Trapp.

The league tables being compiled for the sixth consecutive year by the Independent on Sunday in association with accountants Price Waterhouse rank turnover growth over five years.

They demonstrate that in difficult trading conditions many owner-managed businesses have fared a lot better than those quoted on the stock market - creating jobs and boosting the economy. A large number either have their eyes set firmly on expanding abroad or are already exporting.

Among past success stories are such varied organisations as a supplier of medical computer systems since taken over by Reuters; Hat-Trick Productions, the independent production company responsible for such successes as Have I Got News For You and Drop the Dead Donkey; and Merlin Publishing, the maker of children's stickers that was the top-placed business last year before being acquired by a US organisation involved in a similar field.

If you think that your company has expanded quickly enough to stand comparison with the likes of these, you should apply for an entry form to Julie Harwood at Price Waterhouse, Southwark Towers, 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SY. Completed forms must be returned by Friday.

There are two categories: an overall award for the biggest annual compound sales growth over the five-year period to 30 June 1995 and the separate Price Waterhouse Middle Market Award designed to recognise the achievement of those companies able to grow quickly though they are already established.

To qualify, companies either had to have annual sales of more than pounds 5m in the financial year to 30 June 1991 or sales of more than pounds 15m in the last of the five years, the financial period ending 30 June 1995.