This Nottingham company has capitalised on the British mania for home improvements. It has built up a 43-strong chain of shops that sell everything from paintbrushes and power drills to floor-sanders and cement mixers.
Founded in 1981, Machine Mart has driven up profits 89% a year from £516,000 in 1997 to £3.5m in 2000, when it had 244 staff.
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