Fast Track 100

Teenage inventor of the Pocket Gym, Howard Calvert was only 23 when he sat on the board of Continuous Stationery, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Now he is chairing his own fast-growing business, Howarine Calvert, which supplies office stationery and IT consumables through its Dudley Inkwell division. Founded by Calvert’s father Bert in 1963 to make Rioflex, a glue he invented to bind carbonless copy paper, Howarine Calvert made healthy returns until the advent of laser printers. On inheriting the company in 1977, Calvert and his brother Graham spent two decades investing in a series of ventures. In 1999 they bought the first of 15 small players in the office-supplies market. This acquisition strategy has helped grow sales 79% a year from £775,000 in 1998 to £4.5m in 2001, when Howarine Calvert had 32 staff.

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Company details
Year2002
Rank66
CompanyHowarine Calvert
ActivityOffice stationery supplier
LocationNorth London
Annual sales rise over 3 years79.24%
Latest sales £000s4,465
Staff32
Founded1963
Websitewww.inkwelldirect.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure