Leap from a small starting block - Business - News - The Independent

Leap from a small starting block

Smaller Companies

Hay & Robertson is a small sports firm being revitalised by a new management team. Figures later this month should show that the group has already been turned around from losses to profits. But the share price, at 109p to capitalise the group at pounds 22m, suggests an exciting ride.

The company has created the building blocks for what could become a substantial branded sports leisure-goods business. But the shares are speculative, and vulnerable to a bout of profit-taking. In September last year, only the preference shares had a stock market quotation. Lance Yates, a businessman who, in the 1980s, sold a character merchandising business to then-quoted Prestwich, took a stake at 10p a share. He moved in as chief executive, and gained backing from trusts linked to investor Paul Levinson, mastermind behind Prestwich's rapid growth.

Prestwich eventually lost its quote in a management buyout. Now, Yates owns 13 per cent and the Levinson trusts around 28 per cent of a group which has to date raised more than pounds 4m via fund-raisings at 10p and 47p. The second fund-raising, last March, brought in heavyweight institutions such as Flemings, Ivory & Sime, and Schroders, as major shareholders, adding credibility to the tiny enterprise. The new management team, which includes other significant shareholders besides Yates, has moved with speed to rebuild H&R.

Before the team's arrival, the company had been a clean shell with a small evening- wear business turning over pounds 600,000 and losing money. As well as injecting cash and management, the team has revitalised the evening-wear business, signing up Jeff Banks as a designer. But the real action has been the acquisition of rights to design and market branded sports and leisure- wear, including names like Kangol and Cotton Oxford. A deal with the owners of the Dunlop Slazenger range of sports equipment has ensured the exclusive right in the UK to design and sell sports and leisure clothing bearing Dunlop trademarks. The group is also building a distribution network.

In the UK, it will be selling through independent retailers and outlets such as Debenhams, River Island, Littlewoods, J D Sports, Olympus, and Blacks Leisure. Distributors have also been appointed in Europe.

Taking advantage of the soccer boom, H&R has also completed deals with Premier League and European clubs, such as Manchester United, Juventus and Glasgow Rangers, to sell replica kit in the form of sleepwear and underwear. It hasbought, too, the rights to Admiral, an established but neglected supplier of kit, replicas and leisure-wear. The deal includes an option, exerciseable after July 1997, to buy for ever the rights to the Admiral brand in Europe for pounds 1m .

To give the Admiral brand a higher profile, H&R is planning a range with a label denoting Ruud Gullitt, the charismatic Dutch football star and manager of Chelsea. The group will also devote energy to ranges based on its existing strong brands.

Stockbrokers Wise Speke forecast sales of pounds 8m for the 12 months to 30 September 1996 followed by pounds 12m with profits of pounds 0.5m and pounds 1.3m respectively. That compares with a 1995 loss of pounds 0.7m. Many of the recently announced initiatives will nothave an impact much before the summer and 1998 financial year.

Stockbrokers may come up with exciting numbers for 1997-98 sales and profits and so give a further boost to shares. Shares up to 200p may look fanciful in the short-run, but not impossible on a 12-18 month view. Buy.

News
Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
peopleBenefits Street star says mixed-race children were subjected to trolling
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Extras
indybest
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories