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East Midlands Chamber News

Huub dives into funding pool to drive growth

Derby-based Huub Design, an award-winning specialist in the design and distribution of high-performance clothing products for triathletes, is to expand production to capitalise on record UK and global demand.

The firm has received £425,000 in Growth Capital funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial to increase stock and invest for growth.

Founded in 2011 by Dean Jackson, Huub was established to fill a gap in the market: providing triathlon-specific sportswear, predominantly wetsuits.

The company uses state-of-the-art research that delivers performance improvement to athletes of all abilities, and within FINA’s (Fédération Internationale de Natation) regulations. For the financial year 2015, turnover is expected to hit around £2m.

Huub is set to start the 2016 season with a record level of orders from distributors and wholesalers. In addition, the firm has made significant investments in its rapidly growing direct-to-consumer online platform.

Santander Corporate & Commercial’s Growth Capital facility will fund increased stock levels to support strong sales growth.

The business has a number of very high profile athletes as ambassadors, including Alistair Brownlee - the London 2012 gold medallist, his brother Jonny Brownlee - a London 2012 bronze medallist, Dave Scott - a six-times ironman world champion and F1 driver and triathlete Jenson Button.

Dean won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2014’ at the the Chambers Business Awards while the business won Sales & Marketing campaign of the year at the same awards. Huub also won ‘Wetsuit of the Year award’ for the second year running at the ‘220 Triathlon Awards’ in 2014.

Santander Corporate & Commercial’s Growth Capital loans are targeted at businesses with annual turnovers of up to £50m which have a demonstrated history of high year-on-year growth in turnover, profit or employment.

Dean Jackson, Managing Director, Huub Design, said: “Huub has successfully filled a gap in the market by offering a premium product that delivers a genuine performance improvement for athletes of all abilities.

"During the development of the triathlon as a sport over the past few decades, wetsuits have actually evolved very little, aside from the development of more flexible and buoyant neoprene materials. Huub has capitalised on this and I’m delighted with the ongoing success and expansion of the firm.”

Jon Bennett, Regional Director – Derby, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Huub has been a customer for a couple of years. We were initially attracted to the business due to the strong global potential we identified in the Huub brand, and the management’s clear vision for the future.

"Huub is a great business to work with and is indicative of the entrepreneurial spirit the Derby marketplace continues to exhibit. We’re delighted to help the firm further via our Growth Capital initiative.”