Tyre firm Blackcircles.com looks to expand as profits rise
Online tyre firm Blackcircles.com has announced it is looking at options to fund further growth after reporting a surge in revenues and profits.
The company, which is based in Peebles, saw sales grow by 20% to £27.8m last year, while earnings before interest and tax climbed from £600,000 to £1m.
Blackcircles.com sells tyres online that are then fitted by independent garages or franchises.
At year-end it had a network of 1,200 tyre fitting centres.
It is understood the company is now actively considering raising funds to aid expansion via private equity backing or an initial public offering (IPO) in the range of £50m-100m.
Michael Welch, chief executive and founder of Blackcircles.com, said: "The next 10 years are going to see an even bigger take-up of online business share in every retail market, and as the UK's largest online tyre retailer we're in great position to benefit from this shift.
"We are a well-capitalised business with no debt and great shareholders so we're in good shape, but our next phase involves accelerating our growth and reaching a much larger audience."
He added: "Online retail business models are catching the imagination of investors and the markets at the moment because they have capacity for significant growth as customers change the way they shop. It's an exciting time."
Blackcircles.com also announced that former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, who has been an investor in the company for several years, had joined the board.
Chairman Graeme Bissett said: "The online retail model is really developing momentum now and I am delighted to welcome Sir Terry as a retailer of global standing to the board of Blackcircles.com."