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31 July, 2017 - 23:11 By Kate Sweeney

Water sports retailer makes a splash with £5m growth funding

Ian Homan wetsuit outlet essex

Online water sports retailer, Wetsuit Outlet in Essex, has secured £5 million growth capital from leading small cap UK investor, Mobeus Equity Partners.

Wetsuit Outlet, the trading brand for B2C Distribution Ltd, was founded 13 years ago by Ian Homan and Peter Thompson. Keen water sports enthusiasts, they realised there was a gap in the market for an efficient online retailer delivering top brands at competitive prices. 

The business, which has maintained its base in Shoeburyness, has delivered consistent growth, with revenues rising at over 30 per cent per annum for the last three years.

As result of continued growth larger premises were required and in 2010 the company moved into the historic Gunnery Drill Shed, a grade 2, 150 year- old listed building.

The building was derelict and had not been used for nearly 20 years but the company set about an extensive restoration programme.

A major global exporter, Wetsuit Outlet sells technical clothing and equipment into over 160 countries.

Over the years, the range of products has expanded to include practically everything that a water sports enthusiast could want from stand-up paddle boards, through to dry suits and wet weather clothing, to life jackets and snorkels.

The new investment will enable B2C Distribution to increase its share of the global water-sports market and expand into other niche markets such as equestrian and fields sports.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: (L-R) Ian Homan, Jeremy Kraft, Paul Williams and Sally Bendelow

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