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Hot 100 2012 – 26: Allens Caravans

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The basics

Company name: Allens Caravans
What they do: Holiday and caravan parks
Headquarters: Henley-in-Arden
The boss: Julie Folkes

The financials

Latest turnover (£,000): 12,329
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 49
Latest Ebitda (£,000): 1,834

The details

If building a Hot 100 business is supposed to be full of stress and long hours, no one told Julie Folkes. The co-director of Allens Caravans is so laid back she’s horizontal. 

“There’s no stress here,” she says serenely. “We are very calm and relaxed people. We work in a lovely business in a lovely part of the world.” And where is her brother Mark, with whom she’s run the business since 2003? “He spends in Kenya where he spends six months of the year as captain of a fishing boat. It is a Marlin boat. They take paying customers, so it technically is part of the business.”

Well, obviously this chilled-out mindset is ideal for running a caravan park. Allens Caravans has eight holiday caravan parks and four residential parks across the Midlands. There are the sort of places which appeal to people looking for an escape from the bustle and noise of life. “Many of our customers are semi-retired,” says Folkes. “They want peace and quiet. They come from towns and want a piece of the country.” 

The growth has come from strong investment in the existing parks. The business model brings stability. The family firm has existed since mid 1930s. Julie, 52, has worked in it since she was 16. “We have the next generation lined up. My son and Mark’s son are working with us.” Lucky them.

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

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