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Fast riser is sole representative

Monday 3 December 2012 5:29

Pawnbroker Ramsdens is the only North East company to be listed in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 after achieving an annual sales growth of 65% over a three-year period.

The Fast Track 100 ranks Britain's 100 privately-owned companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years.

Ramsdens’ ranking in 66th place was based on annual sales of £51,270,000 for the financial year ending December 2011.

The past three years has seen what is now the UK’s largest independent pawnbroker increase its national branch network from 42 to 117.

The Middlesbrough company now has 39 branches in the North East – including nine on Teesside - compared to 24 three years ago.

Ramsdens has 42 branches in Scotland, compared to just 14 three years ago; 18 branches in Yorkshire, up from only four three years ago; and 18 branches in south Wales, having had none three years ago.

Ramsdens chief executive Peter Kenyon said: “As a source of finance, pawnbroking has always been popular, both in good and bad times, while our gold and silver-buying service continues to go from strength to strength.”

Ramsdens says it plans to continue its growth, having announced earlier this year that it had secured £15m in new financing from HSBC’s Corporate Banking.

Having achieved a £51 million turnover in 2011 – almost four times its 2008 turnover of £13 million – the company now plans to double in size over the next three to five years.

Currently employing almost 500 staff, Ramsdens will use the new £15m financing to open another 100 branches across the UK, creating a further 400 jobs.

Ramsdens is current sponsors of the Scottish Challenge Cup and signed a seven-figure shirt sponsorship deal with hometown football club, Middlesbrough FC, in December 2010, which will run until the summer of 2014.

Fast Track 100 is published in The Sunday Times each December, with an awards event at Richard Branson's Oxfordshire home each May.