Friday, May 9, 2014

News: Planet X powers past £20m turnover mark

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Rotherham-based cycle retailer Planet X has achieved further strong growth with turnover increasing by over 50% to £20m for the year to March 2014.

Planet X specialises in time trial, road, track and fixed wheel bikes along with mountain bikes under the On One brand. They relocated to new premises at the Ignite development in Templeborough in 2009 and have gone from strength to strength.

Founded by keen triathlete Dave Loughran in the 1990's, Planet X is now the largest builder of high performance bikes in the UK, designing and selling under its own Planet X, On One and Titus brands. It has also recently acquired the respected Holdsworth and Viner brands, and plans are underway to relaunch these, manufacturing the bikes in the UK.

Planet X specialise in internet sales and making bikes to order but the Rotherham base also includes a showroom and sales area. In 2011 the growing firm took on a 16,500 sq ft warehouse next door. It has recently relocated its warehousing and bike-build operations into a 47,000 sq ft building across Rotherham, in Aldwarke.

Last year Planet X secured working capital, term debt, foreign transaction capability from Barclays Bank and they are advised by Sentio Partners. It has also opened a new showroom in Edinburgh, to complement its existing Rotherham and Barnsley showrooms.

With excellent prospects for further growth, the company has made two senior appointments: Mark McCance joins as CEO and Ken Beaty joins the company as non-executive chairman.

Mark has considerable multichannel retail experience and until 2005 was ecommerce director of PC World. He then went on to hold the position of managing director at the internet based retailer of cycling equipment Pro Bike Kit until its sale to the Hut Group.

Ken spent 20 years with international investment firm 3i where he was a bartner in the European Private Equity business. During that time he held non-executive board roles in over 40 companies including Rotherham's AES Engineering.

Mark McCance, CEO of Planet X, said: "I am excited to be joining a real Yorkshire success story. Planet X has achieved an enviable reputation for building high specification performance bikes at unbeatable prices. The vision and passion of the team to deliver innovative products for the cycling enthusiast backed up with expert support both online and in the showrooms is a fantastic platform for continued growth here at home as well as on the international stage."

Ken Beaty, non-executive chairman at Planet X, added: "I am delighted to be joining Mark and the existing team on the board of Planet X at this exciting time for cycling in the UK. Planet X is a fantastic business with a great pedigree in performance cycling and is experiencing rapid growth driven by high market demand.

"The team at Planet X is full of passionate and talented people and the board's mission is to build excellence into all aspects of the business: product, brand, operations, management and financial performance."

Dave Loughran, founder of Planet X, added: "Mark and Ken join us at an exciting time, as cycling is booming and there is an increasing awareness of the fantastic products which Planet X is delivering to the market.

"I am really proud of what we have built at Planet X since I started the business and am confident that the skills and experience which Mark and Ken bring will help take the business to the next stage.

"My vision is that having built excellent products, brand and operations we will take Planet X to an international market using our proven online and showroom platforms. There are exciting times ahead."

Planet X website

Images: Planet X

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