Company of the year >£10m – Sponsored by Cardiff Business School

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The Business Awards for Wales are an initiative of the IWA and the Western Mail, in association with PwC

A motor finance provider, an aircraft engine maintenance business and Wales’ biggest building society have been named as finalists in the Company of the Year >£10m category at the IWA/Western Mail Business Awards.

Carlyle Finance, GE Aviation Wales and the Principality Building Society have been revealed as the three finalists in the category sponsored by Cardiff Business School.

The award recognises the outstanding performance made by a company with its HQ in Wales whose turnover exceeds £10m a year.

The judges are looking for evidence of a strong knowledge base of past, present and future job creation, the company’s endorsement of high technology and future growth prospects.

Market performance, as well as the company’s overall commitment to being based in Wales are also taken into consideration.

Cardiff-headquartered Carlyle Finance specialises in providing motor vehicle finance to some 3,000 dealers across the UK.

The company was originally founded by Welsh finance entrepreneur Sir Julian Hodge 40 years ago.

Since 2006 it has been owned by South African bank WesBank and employs around 150 staff in Wales. In 2010, its profits were £20m, around double that of the previous year.

GE Aviation Wales is one of the nation’s biggest manufacturing employers and overhauls aircraft engines for more than 80 leading global airlines.

The company operates a huge 1.2m square-metre facility at Nantgarw, and employs a workforce of 1,200.

Last year, the company generated revenues of £1.2bn, with profits of more than £40m.

It hopes to see turnover top the £1.5bn mark in the current year.

Our last finalist, Principality is the biggest building society in Wales.

In July, it unveiled profits of £14.8m and a 2.8% increase in its residential mortgage book.

In August, the Council of Mortgage Lenders ranked the Welsh mutual as the 15th biggest lender in the UK in 2010, estimating that gross lending of £800m in the year had doubled its UK market share from 0.3% in 2009 to 0.6%.

The society now has more than 500,000 customers and earlier this year opened its 52nd branch in Wales.

Dean of the School, Professor George Boyne, said Cardiff Business School was delighted to sponsor the category.

“We recognise the very important contribution made by large firms with headquarters in Wales, both economically and socially.

“Often these firms are major employers and play a very significant role within their local communities,” he said.

“We are very pleased to be sponsoring this award, which recognises current successes and future job creation, and the firm’s future growth prospects.”

Copy written by Rhodri Evans

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