Phone recycling firm Redeem sees rewards

Gadget recycling specialist ­Redeem Holdings is targeting further expansion into European markets after sales on the Continent almost tripled last year.
Redeem Holdings saw overall turnover increase by 21 per cent. Picture: APRedeem Holdings saw overall turnover increase by 21 per cent. Picture: AP
Redeem Holdings saw overall turnover increase by 21 per cent. Picture: AP

The Bathgate-based firm saw overall turnover jump by 21 per cent in its last financial year to a record of almost £36 million, although increased costs contributed to a move into the red.

The company, the UK’s fastest growing recycling business, said its core markets were undergoing rapid growth as a result of a number of “favourable tailwinds”, including increasing environmental concerns, data privacy issues and the expansion of e-commerce.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Redeem, headed by former Sony executive Claes Svensson, already operates subsidiary companies in Hong Kong and Estonia and said it was also now in the process of setting up a base in Germany to service central Europe.

It was founded in 1991 and recycles a wide range of hand-held gadgets including phones, tablets, satellite navigation, cameras and laptop computers.

In 2012, the company signalled its ambition to become the leader in the sector in Europe within the next three years.

Turnover during the year to 31 March 2013 rose to £35.9m from £32.4m. The firm swung to a pre-tax loss of £1.2m from a profit of £280,848 the previous year.

Sales in Europe almost tripled to £3.6m from £1.25m and in the UK they edged up to £15.15m from £14.7m. Staff numbers rose to 157 from 151, with the wage bill rising to £4.1m from £3.99m.

The company said it had “aggressive organic growth plans” in place and that it was also looking at acquisitions to extend its geographic reach and service offerings.

In its statement to the accounts the board said: “The group has a clear and focused strategy to expand within Europe and beyond.

“We have a high calibre management team which has the experience of running much larger companies.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Svensson joined the company in 2012. Mark Chambers has been recruited to the board as chief commercial officer; he has more than 25 years’ experience running private equity backed technology companies across Europe and the Middle East. ­Sebastian McKinlay, who has also worked with many technology companies, joined as a non-executive director last June.

Clients include major network operators. Redeem recently said payments to O2’s customers had exceeded £50m since the two firms launched O2 Recycle. The initiative has also generated more than £2m for O2’s community programme, Think Big.

Last year, Redeem secured a three-year contract from Israel’s first mobile phone network operator to help prevent old handsets being sent to landfill. The deal with Pelephone coincided with the launch of the iPhone 5 in Israel.

Redeem is one of a number of Scottish employers which have benefited from the growth in the gadget market.

Regenersis operates sites in Glasgow and Glenrothes where it specialises in gadget repair.

Its latest annual financial results also showed strong growth, with sales increasing by 28 per cent to £179.7m and headline operating profits increasing by 22 per cent to £9.5m.

In December, Regenersis announced it had increased the amount of money it can borrow from HSBC, with its banking facilities rising to £39m from £23m.

Chairman Matthew Peacock said the increased facilities gave the firm “significant fire power to continue its strategic growth plans and investments”.