In a remarkable double for Ross Marshall and Andrew Harding – and a welcome boost for the golf and travel industries – the innovative business duo have been recognised by The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 guide as owning two of the UK’s fastest growing private companies.
The entrepreneurial pair have made history as it is the first time since Fast Track 100’s inception that two companies have appeared in one year with the same founders: Europe’s largest golf travel retailer – Your Golf Travel – was ranked 59th in the standings while sister company Spabreaks.com, achieved a phenomenal second place ranking.
Described by Sir Richard Branson as the ‘definitive barometer of private company growth’, The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s fastest-growing private companies, based on sales growth over three years and is compiled and published each December.
Impressively, Your Golf Travel featured for the fourth consecutive year and was once again the only golf-related business listed. The company achieved 68 per cent annual sales growth over a three-year period with sales soaring from £7.4m to a staggering £35m.
Featuring in the listing for the first time, Spabreaks.com was awarded the honour ofUK’s second-fastest growing business. Set up in 2008 by Marshall, Harding and Abi Wright, the company books relaxing retreats for customers at 550UKhotels and a further 100 in mainlandEurope. It achieved 198 per cent growth over a three-year period with sales increasing from £256,000 to an impressive £6.8m.
Combined sales grew from £7.6m to almost £42m in the corresponding period and the brands provided breaks to in excess of 300,000 travellers.
Speaking on behalf of both brands, co-founder Ross Marshall, said: ‘’Naturally we are delighted to have created our own small piece of Fast Track 100 history by having two businesses ranked in the league table amongst very distinguished company.
“This is a testament to all the hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial flair of all those who have worked with us over the last seven years. We’ll be opening a few bottles of bubbly to celebrate but will be back to work the next day to ensure we both rank again in 2013!’’
The latest accolades come hot on the heels of Marshall and Harding being named Entrepreneurs of The Year 2012 at the recent Spear’s Wealth Management Awards.