Brompton, the UK’s largest domestic bicycle manufacturer, is expanding its business and workforce as it eyes the EU market following the COVID-19 pandemic fueling demand.
"Now is the time to increase investment in our staff and production facilities as we expand our vision globally,” said Will Butler-Adams, chief executive, in a statement to Yahoo Finance.
“We aim to increase our workforce by 20% this year, equating to around 100 new staff members to support our expansion in Germany, the US and key Asian markets alongside our continued growth in the UK. The immediate future is bright for cycling... with more people riding bikes, and cities becoming healthier, happier places."
Among the roles the business is currently hiring for include an EU Brexit freight leader, who would deal with organising shipments out of the factory across the world, ensuring costs and documentation are accounted for. The company had previously faced supply and delivery issues related to Brexit, including disruption to exports between Dover and Calais.
Brompton said it was selling 59,000 bikes in the last financial year out of its Greenford, London factory, an increase of 10,000 from the year prior. In its latest filing for the year ended 31 March 2020, the business saw turnover increase by 34% from the previous year to £57m ($79.25m), compared with £42.5m in 2019. Brompton’s gross margin also continued to improve, reaching 49.7% for the year, compared with 48.9% the previous year.
“We’ve been in a period since lockdown [in April] where we cannot supply the demand,” said Butler-Adams to the Financial Times.
Now that a Brexit deal has been brokered, the business is looking to increase sales in Europe, including Germany and France. America is also a target market.
China is already Brompton’s second-largest market.
The business quickly adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic by becoming an e-commerce vendor that directly sold to consumers.
The process took a matter of months rather than the usual two years for such businesses, said Butler-Adams to the FT.
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