Victorian Plumbing tycoon ups his stake

Founder of online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing, Merseyside tycoon Mark Radcliffe, buys more shares in the business. Tony McDonough reports

Mark Radcliffe, founder and chief executive of Victorian Plumbing


Victorian Plumbing founder and chief executive Mark Radcliffe has increased his stake in the business.

Mr Radcliffe floated the Skelmersdale online bathroom retailer London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in June 2021. It was the largest ever IPO on AIM and initially valued the company at £850m. 

Its current market capitalisation is around £135m. On Monday morning it was announced on the exchange that Mr Radcliffe, who started Victorian Plumbing from his parents’ garden shed in Formby in 2000, had raised his stake in the business.

This latest trade took his shareholding from 46.57% to 47.09%. He is by far the biggest shareholder in the firm with brother Neil Radcliffe second on 9.3%. Other shareholders include Kayne Anderson Rudnick, JPMorgan Asset Management and Paradice Investment Management.

Mr Radcliffe’s status as a millionaire is due to the success of another business, mobile phone accessories retailer First2save. It was this venture that made him the UK’s first eBay millionaire.

Speaking last year he thanked his parents for their support in his early days as a Merseyside entrepreneur. He said: “I was fortunate that every day my mother made me breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“As the accessory business grew, my father built an extra shed for me to store products, which I could not have done myself. For the first six years I got up at seven in the morning, wandered down to the garden shed and worked until 10pm to midnight.

“It did not feel like hardship. It was exciting…. From the age of 18 I used to say to my mother: ‘By the time I am 25, I will have a Ferrari. When I bought my Ferrari I had just turned 26.”

Last week Victorian Plumbing offered an upbeat trading statement ahead of the publication of its full-year results. It said revenue, earnings, and cash flow will finish ahead of expectations for the 12 months to September 30. In May it reported a fall in revenue and profits for the first half of the year.

Due to announce its full-year results on December 6, Victorian Plumbing says revenue in the second half of its fiscal year was up 5% on last year. Full-year revenues are expected to be “broadly unchanged” from last year when they came in at £268.8m. However, they are likely to be 78% ahead of pre-COVID in 2019.

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