AN East Lancashire business which has donated millions of pounds to the NHS has been ranked second in a league table of the country’s top 100 private companies.

Along with 12 other organisations in the North West, Blackburn-based EG Group, which ranked third last year, won its place in a Covid-19 edition of the Sunday Times HSBC top track 100 league table, after achieving some of the biggest sales pre-Covid-19.

Headed by Blackburn’s Issa brothers, the EG Group, which operates petrol stations and fast food outlets across the country, has also been hailed for continuing to contribute to the economy throughout the pandemic and positively responding to the coronavirus crisis after donating £350,000 to East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust in April.

Zubar Issa, who founded the company with brother Mohsin, said: “Our NHS provides exemplary healthcare given the limited resources.

“NHS staff work tirelessly to look after the wellbeing of the poorly and they do some marvellous work that touches every single member of our community at some point in their life.

“Given the challenging times we are all facing, it has never been more relevant for businesses to show support for this fantastic national institution that makes us proud to be British.

“EG Group will remain a committed corporate charity partner for our local NHS hospital network.

“The NHS is a blessing for the community and its staff members are heroes.

“We’d like to say thank-you to all of them, on behalf of our company, our staff and our families.”

The brothers have grown their Euro Garages business from a single petrol station into one of the world’s largest fuel and forecourt operators, with 5,500 sites and 33,000 staff.

Its 2019 sales rose 66 per cent from £7bn to £17.6bn, following acquisitions in Europe, the US and Australia, and it is now ranked number one private company in the region.

The 12 companies headquartered in the North West have together achieved sales of £34.5bn and profits of £2bn in their last financial year, and collectively employed more than 95,000 people.

The 19th annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table, to be published tomorrow, ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the biggest sales, and before Covid-19 struck.