Ultimate Products hints at flotation

Ultimate Products hints at flotation

Beldray owner Ultimate Products is set to buck the trend of stalled stock market flotations as it earmarks 2017 for a potential initial public offering (IPO), which would value the firm at around £100m.

The Manchester-based company - which owns the Beldray brand and holds the licence to sell some Salter and Russell Hobbs products in the UK - had put plans for a listing on ice prior to the EU referendum.

But the firm's managing director, Andy Gossage, told the Press Association: "We could push the button in the first half of next year; I think the public markets could be a good place for us.

"The current IPO market conditions don't put us off. There's still a lot of money out there looking for growing companies to invest in."

Firms such as Pure Gym and TI Fluid Systems have jettisoned flotation plans in the past few weeks, and waste management firm Biffa has cut the price of its share sale.

But Ultimate Products, which is working with Shore Capital on the process, has seen sales and profits soar over the past 12 months, prompting the firm to press ahead with the IPO.

Revenue has risen 23.2% to £79m while profit before tax is up 50% to £7.5m.

Gossage also shrugged off Brexit uncertainty and said the firm is on course to rack up sales of more than £100m next year, and put the growth down to product innovation, the increased popularity of its brands and the relationship with its customers such as B&M, Sainsbury's and Amazon.

"Despite the outcome of the referendum in June, our 2017 order book is already up over 60% as the company benefits from the expansion plans of the discounters, our deepening relationships with major supermarkets and the growing popularity of online shopping.

"Brexit will be challenging for the UK economy, but we're just getting our heads down and getting on with it," he said.

Founded in 1997 by Simon Showman and Barry Franks, Ultimate was previously backed by private equity firm LDC, which held a 46% stake.

However, LDC exited in 2014 via a management buyout, with Mr Showman now the largest shareholder.



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