Getting to 1000 – the methodology

To build this list, the financial technology company Bureau van Dijk which is a provider of Amadeus, a database of comparable financial information  for public and private companies across Europe, combined key financial performance indicators of European companies.

Company status

Companies must be active, private and registered in the European Union (EU 28 – as of 2015). Companies whose parent is incorporated in a foreign country are excluded, except for specific tax shelters. Public limited companies, Private limited companies and Partnerships entities are all considered. Investment vehicles and funds are excluded, as are charities and non-profit organisations. Companies whose global ultimate owner is a public authority, state or government are excluded.

Size and age

Independent company or consolidated group revenues must be between €20m and €300m, based on latest filings. Companies that have been incorporated within the past four years (after 1 January 2012) are excluded.

Financial performance

Each company’s compounded annual growth rate of turnover is calculated over a three-year period (based on three sets of accounts for years 2012, 2013 and 2014). Any company with over 20% deterioration in net assets over the three-year period is excluded.

Country weighting

Having identified the long-list, the eligible companies are then separated into their country of incorporation. Within each country, the companies are ranked by their individual revenues’ compounded annual growth rate; and those that have most outperformed within their country are identified. The long-list is split among the EU 28 countries according to every country’s contribution to the EU GDP.