This high street bookseller was founded as a single store in 1982 and has since been owned by WH Smith, HMV and, most recently, Russian publisher Alexander Mamut, 57. He bought the business from HMV in 2011 for £53m and it now operates 270 stores across the UK, under the leadership of managing director James Daunt, 53. The London firm last year invested £9m in upgrading stores and in-store cafes, helping to more than triple annualised profits to £18.7m on turnover of £387.3m.
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