D-Line specialises in the design and manufacture of cable management solutions where appearance matters. Its products are manufactured in the UK and available worldwide through a distributor network.
The business was awarded an investment of £300,000, made up of £180,000 equity and a £120,000 loan. Other local investors and a local Private Equity Company invested similar amounts.
The cash injection was to help grow the business. D-Line’s objective was to become a supplier to a large, household name retail business, but this can be a very slow process. At the time of investment sales were low and the business was losing significant amounts of money on a monthly basis. But the investors believed in the product and crucially, in the individual behind it, and as well as making the investment they attended board meetings in an advisory capacity.
The investment allowed D-Line to sustain a loss making period while they worked towards developing a relationship with retail giant B&Q, with the ultimate aim of getting on the supplier list. When this was achieved it was a major breakthrough and game-changer for the business, underpinning further growth and allowing D-Line to gain a foothold in Europe and the USA.
In 2005 when the investment was made, the business was turning over £70k and was losing more than £160K a year.
This year the company is on target to turn over £3.5m with a net profit of £650K.
Since 2005, sales have increased 50-fold and a £160K loss has been turned around to a £650K profit. The business now exports to most European countries as well as the USA and Australia.