Wednesday January 1st 2020
Home builder - Pallet maker
- Fashion retailer -
Story Homes £173m | RM2 $8.9m | Psyche £5.6m | Archibald London
News about 4 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 20th – 26th August 2017:
STORY HOMES: Home builder - Cumbria
Story of success | The Sunday Times. August 20
DZ profile: Story Homes Limited
Business: regional housebuilder homes in the north of England and Scotland …has built more than 800 homes in Cumbria, Lancashire and Dumfries.
Founder: chairman Fred Story, 60. with three colleagues
Staff: employed 200 more staff last year
Financials: has seen a 28.9% rise in sales to £173m in the year ending March 2017. Profits edged up to £19.3m from £17.4m, according to accounts soon to be filed at Companies House.
1. The company said it would hand over a further 1,000 properties to families in 2017-18.
2. Story Homes has earned a place on The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list of Britain’s private companies. It is planning to buy more land for development.
RM2: Pallet maker - Luxembourg
Woodford-backed AIM darling faces crunch | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. August 20
DZ profile: RM2
Business: maker of plastic pallets - invented a “smart pallet”, made from a glass-fibre composite, that is stronger than wood and
Founder: John Walsh enjoyed his fair share of dramas during more than two decades in international finance. While a capital markets big shot at Credit Suisse First Boston in the early 2000s, he had a spectacular falling out with Stephen Hester, then the bank’s finance chief.
Staff: high-profile board, which is chaired by the beer magnate Ian Molson and includes ex-Marks & Spencer boss Lord (Stuart) Rose and former Diageo chief Paul Walsh as directors.
Financials: Last year its turnover was $8.9m.
Investment: The company, which is 28%-owned by the star fund manager NEIL WOODFORD, has lost more than 90% of its value and burnt through more than £130m since listing on AIM three years ago, when it raised £137m. It had reserves of $2.7m (£2.1m) at the end of May and was forced to tap existing investors for $20m in June …. by issuing convertible preferred shares.
1. RM2 has spiralled out of control. The most catastrophic decision was to make the new pallet in-house at a plant in Canada. This strained the company’s resources until manufacturing was outsourced to Mexico and China last year.
2. RM2’s cash reserves at the end of May stood at $2.7m, while its cost of doing business for the remainder of the year is $1.7m a month. At its current cash burn rate, it is understood RM2 will be able to keep the lights on for the next nine months, but it does not have the funds to buy new stock. Its existing stockpile is not enough to fulfil the large volumes of orders it hopes to receive.
PSYCHE: fashion retailer - Yorkshire
Versace — by appointment to Teesside | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. August 20
DZ profile: Psyche Limited
Business: one of the most successful independent retailers in northeast England. sells high-end brands for men, women and children, including Versace and Paul Smith, from two shops and via a burgeoning online business. In 1989, it was named designer retailer of the year by the fashion industry magazine Drapers. Selfridges was second.
Founder: Steve Cochrane, 58 ….opened a punk-inspired fashion shop called Sliced Tomatoes in Redcar on Teesside with £6,500 savings. soon after quitting the oil industry 1984… moved the shop eight miles to Middlesbrough and renamed it Psyche.
Financials: turned over £5.6m last year, making a pre-tax profit of £227,753. Online is the source of most of Psyche’s growth — especially exports to America. Sales through the website are up 82% on last year and now account for 40% of total turnover.
Investment: Cochrane, sole owner of the business
News: plans to open a new store in Durham in the spring and would like to expand outside the northeast.
ARCHIBALD LONDON: luxury accessories - London
Archibald London aiming to 'put the nail in the coffin' of luxury retail | Alex Lawson, The Evening Standard. August 21
DZ profile: Archibald London
Business: online retailer which focuses on affordable luxury accessories. Dhir sources from artisan craftsmen, takes a smaller cut, publishes his costs online for transparency, and sells them at cheaper prices than the haute couture lot. He sells a cashmere scarf at £75, against £375 in traditional stores. Bedding the business down with glasses, this year it branched out: high-end bags, cashmere hats, moray scarves and Scottish sweaters are on sale. Shoes, jeans, the knives and maybe even wedding rings for Black Friday, are on the way. The styles are simple. “You can’t create a business model while also creating new designs. We focus on contemporary classic,” he says. It seems to be working, with a customer base heavily skewed towards America. Actors Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max) and Jude Law are fans.
Location: run from a WeWork office in Liverpool Street, London
Founders: Rohan Dhir, Michael Tesfaye and Chris Benns – founders of Archibald Optics. Rohan Dhir born in India, he grew up attending the United World College around the globe, including in Singapore, as his businessman father made money in a string of currencies.
Investment: Dhir has rebuffed a series of overtures, last year he said no deal to: a £6 million buyout from a Middle Eastern family fund, an attempted £2.3 million investment from a South-east Asian firm and a proposal to take a 45% stake that valued the start-up at £15 million from a glasses group.
News: The company also hopes to profit from selling its commerce software, with several big, anonymous names signed up. Attempts to sell through other market places online have faltered amid competition fears, but, after some stand-offs, its products have been sold in London stores.