The Private Plums survey, by corporate finance specialist Results International and consultancy Fintellect, ranks 70 companies, all of which made a minimum gross income of £2.5m.
The companies are rated on criteria including operating profit, staff costs and current assets.
The highest-ranked design group is Start Creative, which comes in at seventh place. Other consultancies listed include retail specialist Checkland Kindleysides at 18th, Jones Knowles Ritchie at 19th, and The Imagination Group at 22nd place.
The highest-ranked firm in the survey is ad agency CHI & Partners.
Keith Hunt, managing partner of Results International, says, ‘It’s heartening to be able to announce some good news as we come to the end of a year that has been overshadowed by recessionary gloom and doom.
‘The Private Plums provides hard evidence that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and that privately owned businesses in the industry are increasingly well-managed and in great shape.’