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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Holland & Barrett eyes £2bn in revenue under new owner

The business is now owned by an investment fund controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

Holland and Barrett was acquired for close to £1.8 billion last year (Yui Mok/PA)
Holland and Barrett was acquired for close to £1.8 billion last year (Yui Mok/PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

Holland & Barrett is targeting sales of £2 billion under its new ownership and is eyeing up foreign acquisitions to fuel its ambitious growth plans.

The health food chain was bought by L1 Retail, a retail investment fund controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, for £1.74 billion last year.

Speaking to the Press Association, Peter Aldis, who has been chief executive of Holland & Barrett for close to 10 years, said the board was currently hashing out a strategy with its new owners.

“When we come up with a strategy and the plans, which we’re working on, the sort of broad goal is that we’d like to see that trebling of the business, with £2 billion worth of revenue, in a 10-year window,” he said.

“And we’re one year in, by the way – so that will now be a nine-year window.

Internationally, we ultimately see the business being bigger outside the UK than within the UK and that is not the case today Peter Aldis, chief executive

“So they are pushing hard, like most good owners do, to do the right thing, and the beauty about that is they are willing to invest money to achieve it.”

To expand internationally, Mr Aldis expects Holland & Barrett will acquire some businesses, but the retailer will continue to grow organically in the UK.

“Internationally, we ultimately see the business being bigger outside the UK than within the UK and that is not the case today,” he said.

“So we have small businesses in China, in the Middle East, and we want to make sure we are creating plans to enable them to grow.”

He said that opening physical stores could be a challenge in some countries, but that in those cases the brand could be introduced online instead.

Holland & Barrett’s most recent accounts on Companies House show the group made £655.5 million in sales for the year ended September 30 2017, a rise of 7.1% year-on-year.

Profit before tax fell from £114.6 million to £72.5 million.

Press Association

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