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John Hays, 66, opened his first travel agency in County Durham in 1980 and now has more than 120 branches and two call centres. The Sunderland-based group more than doubled its retail shop network in 2013 when it bought Bath Travel for an undisclosed sum, boosting sales 47% to £253.1m in 2014. It also employs more than 400 homeworkers to handle customer enquiries.

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Company details
CompanyHays Travel
ActivityTravel agency
Sales £m253.1
Operating profit £m3.0
Main shareholdersJohn Hays (56%), Irene Hays (44%)

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda