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Hot 100 2013 20: Chain Reaction Cycles

The basics

Company name: Chain Reaction Cycles
What they do: Leading online bike retailer
Headquarters: Ballyclare
The Boss: Chris Watson

The financials

Latest turnover (?,000): 136,448
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 50
Latest Ebitda (?,000): 11,074

The details

Offering more than 90,000 products, Chain Reaction Cycles believes it is the largest online bike store in the world. From much more humble beginnings as a bike shop in Northern Ireland in 1985, Chain Reaction Cycles now boasts a turnover in excess of £136m and profits over £11m a year.

The company delivers across the world ? almost 40 per cent of sales come from outside the EU and is still headquartered in Northern Ireland. Chain Reaction Cycles was founded by George and Janice Watson, but son Chris is now the boss. Boosted by Team GB’s success in the Olympic Games last summer, the company has grown its staff by 27 per cent to 465 people.

“Cycling’s on a roll at the moment,” says marketing manager Damien Duggan. Bradley Wiggins” success at the Tour de France followed by the London 2012 Olympics gave the sport a huge boost. We re seeing increasing uptake throughout the world, whether people are riding to work, hitting the road in a local sportive or heading for the hills on their mountain bikes.


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