The media agency shared this year’s award with The Red Brick Road based on a survey of 74 privately-owned marketing companies, which was carried out by Marketing Services Financial Intelligence.
The report found an increasing number of privately-owned agencies had boosted their gross incomes over a two-year period by at least 15% per annum compound.
Operating profits in absolute terms and per employee are improving, despite an increasing proportion of income being spent on staff costs.
However, borrowings and finance costs are on the increase, but two-thirds of the privately owned agencies had no net borrowings at their year end.
Companies are judged on eight different categories and receive a ‘plum’ for each criteria they receive top marks in.
The two agencies each were awarded eight plums. The7stars was also awarded eight last year, whereas The Red Brick Road was in fifth place the previous year with seven plums.
Bob Willott, who compiled the report, said: "Winners of a high number of plums are likely to become some of the juiciest targets for potential acquirers as is demonstrated by the companies featured in last year’s awards that are no longer privately owned – companies like Stickyeyes and Langland Advertising, Design and Marketing both of which have achieved a full crop of plums in earlier years.
"Many smaller publicly listed marketing groups have come and gone over the last 15 years and, of those that remain, shares in only seven (or 37% of the survivors) have improved in value over that period or since coming to the market, if later."