Fit­ness firms power their way into FastTrack top 100

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

TWO Soli­hull fit­ness brands fea­tured in an an­nual count­down of the UK’s pri­vate com­pa­nies with the fastest-grow­ing sales.

On­line cloth­ing firm Gymshark and nutri­tion man­u­fac­turer Grenade were both ranked in the 22nd Sun­day Times Vir­gin At­lantic Fast Track 100 league ta­ble.

The yearly re­port listed the 100 pri­vately owned UK com­pa­nies with the fastest-grow­ing sales over the lat­est three fi­nan­cial years and was pub­lished in the na­tional news­pa­per last week­end.

Gymshark was started by Ben Fran­cis in his par­ents’ garage when he was just 19 and its cloth­ing lines have be­come a must-have for the In­sta­gram gen­er­a­tion as the com­pany has tapped into the power of so­cial me­dia pres­ence.

In April, it re­lo­cated from Worces­ter­shire to a brand new head of­fice in Soli­hull which will give it the space to more than dou­ble its cur­rent pay­roll of 200 staff.

It is the third time Gymshark fea­tured in the list, with sales climb­ing by 128 per cent to £103 mil­lion, plac­ing it in 12th po­si­tion.

Grenade is run by hus­band and wife team Alan and Juliet Bar­ratt and sells sports nutri­tion prod­ucts such as en­ergy bars, pow­ders and drinks as well as branded cloth­ing.

The com­pany has un­der­gone two pri­vate eq­uity deals since the pair launched the busi­ness in 2010.

It ap­peared for a fifth time with sales of £33.8 mil­lion and growth of 71 per cent, plac­ing it 47th.

They were among eight West Mid­lands com­pa­nies and 12 in to­tal to boost its mar­ket from across the Mid­lands to fea­ture in the 2018 count­down, in­clud­ing six new en­trants.

Their to­tal sales have grown by an av­er­age of 88 per cent a year over three years to a to­tal of £434 mil­lion and they col­lec­tively em­ploy more than 1,300 peo­ple.

Among the other West Mid­lands busi­nesses to fea­ture were Bur­ton­based clin­i­cal tri­als sup­plier Mid­win­ter So­lu­tions, with sales growth of 233 per cent to £61.8 mil­lion, which was placed at the top of the ta­ble.

Birm­ing­ham-based waste col­lec­tion ser­vices firm Clear­abee (78 per cent ; £9 mil­lion) and ad­ver­tis­ing spacer leaser Elonex Group (52 per cent ; £6.7 mil­lion) were also ranked in 33rd and 75th po­si­tions re­spec­tively.

Com­pa­nies from else­where in the UK to fea­ture in­cluded burger chain Five Guys, beauty prod­ucts re­tailer Char­lotte Tilbury Beauty and brewer BrewDog.

>Alan and Juliet Bar­rat run fit­ness brand Grenade

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