Pret a Manger’s Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe set up this chain in 1986 to provide fresh, natural and preservatives-free sandwiches to a market lacking exciting alternatives. Their products helped start a national revival to improve lunchtime choices. It has also pioneered giving away its unsold sandwiches to charities for the homeless. The London-based chain which has stores in America and Hong Kong opened its 185th store in Liverpool recently. Bridgepoint bought a majority of the business in February valuing the chain at £345m. Sales in 2007 reached £222.5m.

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Company details
Year2008
Rank157
CompanyPret A Manger
ActivitySandwich shop operator
LocationCentral London
Sales £m222.5
Operating profit £m14.1
Main shareholders

Bridgepoint Capital (52%), Goldman Sachs (13%), S Beecham and J Metcalfe (25%), management (10%)

Staff3,148
Founded1986
Websitewww.pret.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda