Hot 100 2012 ? 12: CDS Group Services

The basics

Company name: CDS Group Services
What they do: Chris Dawson’s shop-fitting spin-off
Headquarters: Plymouth
The boss: Chris Dawson

The financials

Latest turnover (?,000): 26,018
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 59
Latest Ebitda (?,000): 2,835

The details

It?s that man again. Chris Dawson is the nation?s star entrepreneur right now ? he can do no wrong. Dawson, you?ll recall, is the founder of the DIY chain The Range, which is knocking chunks out of B&Q. The Range now has 59 stores, employing 4,000, and Dawson has plans underway to grow it to be a billion pound company. 

The man himself comes across as a scruffy cross between Del Boy and Les Dawson, and loves to ham up his humble beginnings in Plymouth, where he has his HQ. But his business sense is ruthlessly well ordered.

CDS Group is one of his spin-offs. It?s a shop fitting business, with clients such as Levi?s jeans, Lush, Lego and his own firm The Range. Dawson tell us he?s got a new wheeze: ?We are cleaning curtains. It is going to be the biggest thing since the Rubik Cube. Normally a hotel will have to take down all their curtains, send them off, have them cleaned and put them back up. Takes 3 days. Our system cleans them in 2 hours.? 

He rattles of a long, long list of clients. That?s Dawson for you. Makes curtain cleaning sound like a gold rush. Annoyingly, he?ll be proven right too.

The Hot 100 2012 is brought to you by Investec, Jordans, Cass Business School and Your Business Your Future.

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