With a chain of 67 shops, this firm claims to be one of Europe’s largest specialist retailers of golf equipment. It says its staff are accomplished golfers with an average handicap of seven, so they can provide sound advice and lessons. The business was started by brothers Howard and Robert Bilton in a small shed in 1978 and was sold last year in a management buyout backed by LDC, the venture-capital firm. New store openings and improvements in gross margins helped to boost the company’s profits, which rose 62% a year from £1.7m in 2001 to £7.2m in 2004.
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