Top GDB companies

Top 20 information and communication companies in UK by revenue in 2017

by Nicolae Buldumac
Top 20 information and communication companies in UK by revenue in 2017

The UK's Information and Communication industry is thriving. The sector contributed £118.4 billion to the country's economy in 2015, accounting for over 7% of UK GVA, according to the UK parliament's 2017 Technology (ICT) Sector Report. London is currently ranked number one in Nesta’s European Digital City Index, demonstrating impressive levels of support available to digital entrepreneurs.

There's plenty of action outside of the capital too; with buzzing digital clusters in cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Belfast. These organisations employed 1.5 million people during 2016, with the digital sector accounting for 4.5% of all UK jobs, as notes the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

The UK is the top destination within Europe for incoming investment into the digital market, receiving £6.7 billion in 2016 (50% greater than any other country in Europe), according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Thankfully, the effects of  Brexit don't look to have a hugely negative impact on this level of investment. In fact, a significant number of leading global technology companies have stated their plans for substantial investment in the UK market, since the vote to leave the EU.

Business intelligence provider Global Database holds information on thousands of companies currently working in the UK Information and Communication industry. From this data we've compiled a list of the country's 20 top performing companies in the sector. The impressive sums of money these organisations are turning over demonstrate the huge potential in the sector, even for businesses working on a much smaller scale.

1. Bell Microsystems LTD

Better known under its trading name Bell Integration, the Portsmouth-based company turned over £129.8 billion in 2016. The IT services and consulting business was founded back in 1995, but has seen great growth in more recent times, not least in its acquisition of IBM software partner Portal in 2016, and IT and AV rentals business Hamilton in 2017.

2. Vodafone Group

The telecommunications giant has long been a household name, and now has around around 19.5 million in the UK alone. The company, which employs 13,000 people throughout the country, reported a fall in sales for its most recent quarter, which it states is down to having to compete solely on price. Turnover for 2016 was still an impressive £42.5 billion.

3. British Telecommunications PLC

BT is a giant in the UK telecoms industry, now working multinationally from its headquarters in London. The company has seen significant outgoings in recent times, thanks to a hefty £42 million fine from Ofcom in 2017 for reducing wholesale compensation, and the acquisition of mobile network operator EE in 2016. In 2018 the firm announced its plans to cut 13,000 jobs, two-thirds of which will be from its UK workforce, and also move operations from its London hub.

4. Telenor UK

The UK arm of the telecoms services firm provides solutions to help businesses make use of the IoT as well as providing satellites for broadcast and data communication services. Now in the industry for over two decades, the company saw turnover of £18.8 billion in 2016.

5. Cisco International LTD

The Cisco Systems subsidiary, headquartered in Cardiff, turned over a total of £9.1 billion in 2016. It was announced in Summer 2018 that the company will be investing £77 million in the UK digital market, partnering with University College London to set up an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research centre.

6. Sky UK LTD

The subsidiary of Sky plc was formed back in 1990 through a merger between Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting. The company has since become the UK's leading digital subscription TV service, turning over a total of £7.9 billion in 2016.


The information and analytics multinational firm turned over £6.89 billion last year. The group announced in early 2018 that it was acquiring ThreatMetrix - one of the world leaders in online digital identities - for £580m, which could fuel further growth in the coming fiscal year.

8. Vodafone Ltd

A great example of longevity in the telecoms sector, Vodafone Limited has been around since 1980. Its sales of consumer phone and internet products and services, alongside business solutions such as mobile and fixed communications and cloud services, saw it turnover £5.84 billion last year.


9. Arris International Plc

The company, which manufactures telecommunications equipment, saw a turnover of £5.46 billion in 2016. Arris International has made numerous acquisitions to expand its market share, most recently buying up the Ruckus Wireless unit from Broadcom Limited for $800 million.

10. Telefonica UK Ltd

Better known under its trading name O2, the company saw a turnover of £5.24 billion in 2016. This increase in revenue came after a decrease in the company's customer base, but the country's second biggest mobile network managed to claw back revenue from handset revenue and new B2B contracts with the likes of Tesco Bank and Mercedes Benz.

11. Capita Plc

The outsourcing and professional services company has run into hard times recently. Shares were down by 47.5% at the beginning of 2018, resulting in a 15-year low. More recently, in Summer 2018 the company announced profits had dropped to £80.5m for the first six months to June, compared with £195 million for the same period the previous year.

12. Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited, aka PlayStation, was first established in 1995. The UK arm of the global entertainment firm is headquartered in London, and saw a total turnover of £4.23 billion last year, in no small part due to the impressive sales of the PlayStation 4.

13. Vodafone Group Services Ltd

The Vodafone Group Plc subsidiary was founded in 1999, and offers mobile communications products and services. Headquartered in Newbury, the company turned over an impressive total of £2.5 billion in its last financial report, making it one of the biggest telecoms providers in the country.

14. Hutchison 3G Ltd

While it may not be one of the biggest hitters in the game, Hutchison 3G - better known under brand name Three - has made quiet but steady growth recently. The company announced plans for 5G following a 2% rise in revenue and its lowest ever churn rate amongst its 10.1 million customers. Revenue for 2016 was £2.35 billion.

15. Fujitsu Services Holdings Plc

The IT products and services provider, has its UK headquarters in London, and saw a revenue of £2.2 billion last year. Despite healthy profits, the company announced recently that 1800 UK jobs will be cut in order to boost profit margins, which bosses say are currently below market expectation.

16. Carphone Warehouse Ltd

The mobile phone retailer is one of the largest telecoms companies in the UK, having turned over £2.12 billion in 2016. However, things aren't all smooth sailing for the company currently, as it announced plans to close nearly 100 stores in Spring 2018, and issued a profits warning following disappointing sales figures and falling shares.

17. Verizon European Holdings Ltd

The UK arm of the telecoms giant is currently headquartered in Reading, and saw impressive turnover of over £2 billion in 2016. Since being incorporated in 2002, the firm has risen up the ranks to its current place in the top 20 UK information and communications companies.

18. Entserv UK Ltd

EntServ UK Limited provides applications for IT as well as business process outsourcing services and solutions. If you're looking for a case study in longevity in the industry look no further; the company has been active since 1897. Headquartered in Aldershot, the UK company enjoyed turnover of £1.95 billion last year.

19. Universal Studios Ltd

The UK subsidiary of the entertainment giant is headquartered in central London. Incorporated in 2014, the company's main operations deal in TV and video distribution activities. The most recent financial data from Global Database reports that the company turned over a total of £1.89 billion in 2016.

20. TalkTalk Telecom Group

The British telecoms company has come a long way since it was established in 2003. Now providing TV subscription services, telecommunications and internet services, the company turned over £1.78 billion in 2016. Furthermore, its customer base grew by a healthy 80,000 during the first quarter of FY19, serving 2.1 million subscribers.


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