As we approach the Small Cap Awards, due to take place on 25th June, Master Investor profiles some of the companies shortlisted. The Pebble Group has been shortlisted for the IPO of the Year award.
- Please provide a brief description of the business
The Pebble Group comprises two differentiated businesses, focused on specific areas of the promotional products market: Brand Addition’s activities comprise the design, sourcing and delivery of creative promotional merchandise and branded products for global brands, and Facilisgroup provides subscription-based SaaS technology and services to SME distributors in the promotional products market in North America.
Promotional products comprise an increasingly important part of a company’s marketing mix, conveying a company’s brand values and identity to its stakeholders. The return that promotional products deliver, in respect of brand awareness relative to the level of investment, makes them a valuable marketing and engagement tool for all businesses.
- 2019/20 was clearly a strong year for the company, to what do you attribute your success?
2019 was a notable one for the The Pebble Group and its team. Having operated independently as Brand Addition for over seven years, the decision was taken to build upon this success and expand the business by acquiring Facilisgroup, a provider of subscription-based services to SME promotional products distributors in North America in December 2018. Over the course of the 2019, Facilisgroup was rapidly and effectively integrated into the Group, a process which transformed the enlarged business in terms of scale, diversity and financial performance. Group revenue in the year increased by 15% and Adjusted EBITDA increased by 50%. This transformational year concluded with the successful IPO and Admission to AIM in December 2019, when the Group raised £135m.
The management team remains invested in the success of the business, having retained approximately 9% of the Company’s total issued share capital at IPO. The progress the Group made in 2019, including the successful IPO, was a direct result of the combined efforts of our team of highly talented and dedicated people across our businesses in Asia, Europe and North America.
- How would you characterise the long-term drivers for your business?
Our vision is to become the partner of choice for:
• global brands, which use promotional products as a key stakeholder engagement tool; and
• SME distributors of promotional products, seeking to professionalise and grow their businesses in North America through the use of Facilisgroup’s SaaS @ease platform.
The Group has a track record for delivering strong organic growth, as well as growth through acquisition. Our talented people have delivered on all key areas of this strategy during the last year and we have clear strategic objectives for the future. The unprecedented events of recent months have impacted our business, like many others. Equally, our long-term strategy to continue growing organically and by acquisition remains unchanged. Whilst managing the short- term disturbance, our team is also continuing to plan for organic growth and prepare for the opportunities, which will arise as normality returns. These plans focus primarily on using the Group’s strong position in the market to grow by winning new clients and generating increased spend on existing contracts at Brand Addition and by attracting new customers and increasing the range and value of services that we sell to customers through Facilisgroup’s SaaS @ease service.
We will also continue, at the right time, to consider value-enhancing acquisitions, as part of our wider strategy, particularly those which are complementary to Facilisgroup.