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Rapha grows sales to nearly £40 million… but profits fall 16.5 per cent

London-based compnay gears up for further growth with focus on the US market

High-end cycle clothing firm Rapha saw turnover leap by 37 per cent to nearly £39 million in the year to February 2015, though investment in the business and a move to larger premises hit the bottom line with pre-tax profits falling 16.5 per cent to £507,888.

Besides moving from Kentish Town, where it was founded 10 years ago, to King’s Cross, the company has also upgraded its IT system and is eyeing growth in the lucrative US market, reports The Times.

Founder and CEO Simon Mottram told the newspaper [£]: “We have made a huge investment over the past two years.

“US expansion has been a focus for us over the past year, it is the world’s biggest cycling market and so many cyclists there still need to be turned on to Rapha.”

The brand is continuing to expand its Rapha Cycle Club café-cum-shop concept including a second one in London, opening in Spitalfields in November, one if a number of initiatives that should ensure continued sales growth in 2015.

The year saw Rapha celebrate Chris Froome’s Tour de France win by producing a special black-and-yellow kit for Team Sky for the final day, and it was also involved in Sir Bradley Wiggins successful Hour record attempt.

- Rapha unveils special Team Sky outfit for Tour de France final stage

- Sir Bradley Wiggins smashes the UCI Hour Record

Recently the brand unveiled the Rapha + Liberty collaboration with the London department store for a women’s clothing range, accompanied by two bikes made by Donhou.

- Donhou creates Rapha + Liberty steel road bike and town bike with special paint jobs

It has also launched its RCC members’ club, costing £200 a year, which attracted a huge response with 3,000 people signing up.

“We didn’t know if the price was too low or too high,” Mottram said. “It’s very hard to sense-check that kind of pricing.”

Given the response, the cost doesn’t seem to have been viewed as excessive by those who signed up.

“We had to close membership for this year and we have this amazing backlog of people who want to join.”

Granary Square at King’s Cross meanwhile, just a few hundred yards from Rapha’s new HQ, will host the third and final round of this year’s Rapha Super Cross Series, taking place on Sunday 14 November.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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