Winners of the year 2015: Uber, Lidl and Tony Pidgley and other success stories

 
Joe Hall
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Personality of the year: Pidgley took home a City A.M. gong to top off a successful year for Berkeley

In 2015 the UK's economy continued to steadily grow and employment reached new highs - it was a good year for business.

There will be plenty of champagne corks popping and glasses clinking this Christmas period, and no one has more reason to do so this year than these companies and personalities.

Read more: The seven biggest losers of 2015

Uber

Uber summoned a whirlwind of political debate and split opinions like few other companies in 2015. It also kept growing and growing. And growing.

The taxi-hailing app is now available in 80 cities in the world, successfully beat a High Court ruling that its operation was legal in the UK and has been valued at a whopping $62.5m (£43.1bn) - higher than 89 companies on the FTSE 100.

Tony Pidgley

Berkeley founder and group chairman Tony Pidgley took home our personality of the year award last month - not a bad way to cap off a year in which the company moved into the FTSE 100 for the first time, shares have risen over 45 per cent and annual profits surged by 42 per cent to £539.7m.

Lidl

Another winner at the City A.M. awards, Lidl was crowned our business of the year for its super 2015 in which it took a £9m hit to become the first UK supermarket to adopt the living wage and opened 620 stores across the country to boost sales over £4bn - half of which came from British produce.

Oh, and that's without even mentioning a record market share of 4.4 per cent. Now it has its sights set on 12-15 per cent market share by 2020.

The Conservative Party

This May's general election result delivered a resounding and unequivocal victory for the Conservatives to pave the way for the first majority Tory government in nearly 20 years.

Ahead of the general election the pundits and polls had forecast a close-run contest and a potential hung parliament or another coalition government. In the end they won a clear majority of 12 and boosted their seats by 12 as Labour lost 26 while David Cameron became the only Prime Minister other than Margaret Thatcher to continue in office after a full term having gained more seats for his party.

And after all that, Labour elected the far-left Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader, and early polls suggest the public aren't impressed.

Bond

Bond was back with a bang in 2015, obliterating box office records by taking in £41m in its first week of release in the UK alone.

Yet Bond was just one success story in what is set to be a blockbuster year for the British cinema industry. Already there have been around 140m visits to the cinema this year in the UK and there's still the small matter of a new Star Wars film to come.

Loretta Lynch

Forget Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, no one had a bigger impact in football in 2015 that Loretta Lynch. If you haven't heard of her, you'll certainly have had heard of her work - Lynch is the US attorney general who led the investigation into Fifa that finally brought long-awaited corruption charges against football's much maligned governing body.

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