The rapid growth of London-based Bell Group culminated in a stock market flotation in May 1999, when the company achieved a market valuation of £62.7m. Since this date, the share price of 120p has almost doubled. Bell Group was set up in 1986 by three former colleagues, Kevin Cormack, Ken Howard and Patrick Curran. They remortgaged their houses, sold life insurance policies and pooled savings to capitalise on a collective 56 years’ of experience in the security industry. The company’s initial success was guaranteed by sales of Pacom, a large-scale system that was cheaper than other equivalent products because it could run on existing computer networks instead of new dedicated telephone lines. The Group now specialises in offering integrated security systems for a whole site, complete with control units, alarms and sensors, which are linked to a local police station or security firm. It has built up a roster of blue-chip clients and increased profits by 50% pa, from £1.3m in 1995 to £4.3m in 1998. Sales in the same period rose 42% pa to £34.1m.
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