Leading independent leisure business South Lakeland Caravans, part of The Pure Leisure Group, has been named as one of the top 100 companies in the UK for the third year running.
The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 identifies British firms with the fastest growing profits. South Lakeland Caravans, whose head office is in Carnforth, Lancashire was listed no 13 in the North West and no 76 in the UK. Its annual profit growth over three years was a staggering 57.24% with profits for 2004/05 at £11.5million - the year in which the business acquired the prestigious Royal Westmoreland resort in Barbados for £53 million.
Managing director John Morphet commented: “We are delighted to have been recognised as one of the UK’s most successful businesses again. Appearing in the league table once, would be an achievement but to maintain our position in the table for three years, by continuing to increase our profits, is a tribute to the commitment and hard work put in by the whole team.
“While we continue to drive up the quality at all our UK leisure parks we are also expanding our leisure empire with strategic acquisitions at home and abroad. South Lakeland Holidays, the holiday rental business in the UK, continues to go from strength to strength.”
In March John Morphet made his largest ever acquisition in the UK, Billing Aquadrome, Northampton, in a multi-million pound deal. The 235 acres parkland estate, with nine lakes, provides sites for 2000 static and touring caravans. One of the UK’s largest independently owned parks, it offers an extensive range of leisure facilities, including a jet ski lake, fishing, licensed bars and variety of entertainments.
At Royal Westmoreland, which is located on the west coast of Barbados, Mr Morphet has already built 23 new luxury villas to add to the 150 prestigious homes set in beautifully landscaped gardens around a championship golf course. Sporting celebrities, including Gary Lineker, Ian Woosnam, Mike Gatting and Virginia Wade, have homes on the complex, where prices range from US $1.5 million to over US $10 million. Recent buyers include England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, Chelsea footballer Joe Cole and national hunt jockey Richard Johnson.
As well as property development opportunities, the villa rental business at Royal Westmoreland is also proving to be a Barbados leader providing exclusive accommodation to predominantly UK holidaymakers at the luxury end of the market.
Alison Lever, partner and head of the North West Entrepreneurial and Private Companies Team at PricewaterhouseCoopers commented: “It’s fantastic to see so many examples of private companies, either family, employee, or private-equity owned, delivering sustained profit growth and making a great contribution to both our regional and national economy.”
In the North West 15 companies are in the top 100. They directly employ a total of 4,716 staff. In their last financial year they racked up profits of £224 million.
For further information please contact Vicki Baxter or Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 617611 or by e-mail:
To find out more about the Sunday Times PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100 go to http://www.fasttrack.co.uk
Notes to editors
Pure Leisure Group
The Pure Leisure Group is owned by UK based leisure entrepreneur John Morphet. Included within the group is South Lakeland Caravans a fast-growing company, which specialises in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire. At selected parks there are also pitches for touring caravans. Established in 1988, it now has 12 UK locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages complete with leisure facilities.
The UK locations are:
White Cross Bay Leisure Park & Marina, Windermere
Limefitt Leisure Park, Windermere
Fallbarrow Leisure Park, Bowness, Windermere
Gatebeck Caravan Park, Endmoor, near Kendal
Ocean Edge Leisure Park, Morecambe
Regent Leisure Park, Morecambe
Hawthorne Caravan Park, Morecambe
Marina Caravan Park, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster
Fell End Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Hall More Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Little Todber Caravan Park, Gisburn, Clitheroe
South Lakeland Leisure Village, Borwick, near Carnforth
The Pure Leisure Group also has three developments overseas:
· Olive Grove Park, Cyprus, features 18 exclusive lodges set in the village of Limnatis just 10 miles north of Limassol and on the main road to the spectacular Troodos mountains.
· Marbella Gun and Country Club, Spain - where an initial development of timber lodge holiday homes is nearing completion.
· Royal Westmoreland, Barbados - a luxurious 500 acre estate with a world class golf course offering a choice of magnificent, newly built villas in a selection of sizes and styles - from two to four bedrooms, to larger Premium Villas and grand, individually-styled Exclusive Villas.