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Victorian Plumbing explores “major international expansion” after settling court case with rival


Liverpool-based online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing has agreed an out-of-court settlement with rival Victoria Plum and appointed investment bank GCA Altium to support a “major international expansion”.

The company, founded in 1999 by Mark Radcliffe, recently announced that its turnover for the six months to September 30th had reached £52.8m, 28% up year on year, with pre-tax profits for the period coming in at £2.5m.

It had lost a High Court case against Victoria Plum back in November 2016, with the court hearing that that Victorian Plumbing had been spending “hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum” on paid search engine adverts that were found liable for trademark infringement.

Victoria Plum had sought “substantial damages” but, in a statement today, Victorian Plumbing said the case had been settled out of court.

It added that it had now appointed investment bank GCA Altium to approach growth-partners to help launch a major international expansion.

Mark Radcliffe, managing director, said: “It was in the interest of both parties to get this settled and we are glad to put this behind us and focus entirely on the future of Victorian Plumbing and our continued success.

Victorian Plumbing was founded by Mark Radcliffe in 1999

“We have some bold and exciting plans for 2018 and beyond, and on the back of our market-leading financial results, we are better prepared than ever to push on and reinvest in the people, processes and technology that have allowed us to maintain the incredible level of growth we have set over the last few years.

“The investment options we are looking into with the help of GCA Altium are going to allow us to invest in the growth of the company; with the level of opportunity we believe is out there in the international regions, and where we feel we can get this company to, we want to give ourselves the strongest footing possible to take that next step – bringing on a growth partner who buys into our vision for Victorian Plumbing is going to allow us to make the significant investments needed.”

Victorian Plumbing said it was on target for a turnover of £106-£107m this year.

Over the past year it has run a number of campaigns that it said had helped “push brand recognition to a new level”, including sponsorship of Friends on Comedy Central, Life in the Sun on Channel 4 and Through the Keyhole on ITV.

Based in Formby, Mark Radcliffe owns 75% of the company, with his brother Neil owning 15% and mother Carole 5%, according to Companies House.

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