How equipment manufacturer refinanced for ambitious European growth
In 1997 Benross’s CEO Jon Everitt set out with a singular vision: to launch a sports brand that would produce top quality golfing equipment, without the prohibitive price tag. Twenty-one years later, the golf brand has grown to become the largest golfing manufacturer in the UK. It remains privately owned and has become synonymous with quality and appeal. Now it is poised for European growth with a £2M boost to working capital funds from Independent Growth Finance, IGF.
Funding for European growth
Benross has spent two decades establishing itself in the European market and gathering a loyal following. The much-admired brand closed 2017 with 45 percent revenue growth that has continued into 2018. This has fuelled the management’s ambition to seize and cement the company’s position as the largest independently owned golf manufacturer in Europe. Significant investment has already been made in new product development, sales and marketing, workshop and head office talent. But more funding was needed to continue to grow at speed and work towards the objective of European market leadership.
Bespoke crafted financing
Benross has built a reputation for delivering pro-quality bespoke golfing equipment. It uses only the very best components and the most intelligent engineering techniques. From inception, the company was set up as a challenger brand. Strategically positioned in the market to give the golfing public access to outstanding golf equipment at a competitive price. This approach has drawn admiration from retailers and competitors alike. As the market becomes ever more divided with the penetration of super premium priced products, Benross will continue to stay true to delivering for the everyday golfer.
Its Speedfit service is a tailored concept to improve your game through a completely customised range of woods and irons. Every build revolves around the player and their game, no matter their level.
Jon Everitt explains: “Everyone plays differently, so we created Speedfit. We measure your swing speed, club-face impact, club/ground interaction, hand span, height, and hand-to-floor measurement. This results in a perfectly specified club, built for you and your game. For us, personalised service is everything.
Trusted mid-market partner
“As an equipment manufacturer working capital is paramount,” Jon Everitt continues. “Ernst & Young helped us look for a working capital funding partner. IGF stood out. We chose IGF as they offered the best combination of stock levels and invoice discount financing, £2m in total, with consideration of fee rates. Previously we only had invoice discounting with Barclays, but at less favourable rates. IGF took their time to understand our business, our challenges and opportunities and importantly our ethos.”
John Hughes, commercial director ABL, IGF, comments, “Benross is one of the UK’s most established sporting brands. Their unique commitment to crafting high-quality products at affordable prices has cemented their name in the game and earned them a national following. Our funding will help support significant expansion and replicate their success across Europe. All while continuing to focus on the needs of the British golfing community.
Increasing market footprint
As well as selling its own brand golf equipment, from 2017, Benross obtained the exclusive distribution for the UK and Ireland of the globally recognised Bridgestone balls and accessories. This has proved to be a significant pillar for the business, resulting in increased market footprint for both brands in Europe. Making up part of the future expansion plans.
Everitt concludes, “IGF has given us a flexible combination of inventory and receivables financing. This will help the business gear up our stock holding ahead of the important Christmas and pre-season drive. It has provided a sound financial base from which we will focus our European growth ambitions. Our focus remains on delivering outstanding quality service and equipment. Well that and of course enjoying this wonderful sport!”
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