2016: No.28 £140m
2015: No.41 £88m
Andrew Thorpe is chairman and joint chief executive of the Redditch-based company F W Thorpe, which designs, manufactures and supplies professional lighting systems.
The group is doing well and in September revealed a 15 per cent increase in full-year revenue based on strong demand for its products. It warned of softening in some markets but still saw a 10.8 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £14.4 million. Revenue was £73.5 million.
The AIM-listed company has seven subsidiaries including the strongly-performing Thorlux Lighting, Philip Payne, Solite and Portland Lighting, and employs around 500 people. The company’s products sell all over the world.
More than half of the company’s sales come from LED lighting systems, and it is there that the company’s investment in product development is concentrated. Growth is high on the agenda with a new £1.4 million Solite factory recently opened in Manchester and joint venture companies are growing sales in Australia and, more recently, in the United Arab Emirates.
The company subsidiary Sugg Lighting, which concentrates on heritage lighting products and refurbishments, was sold for a nominal consideration in February. The company continues to invest in its street and road tunnel lighting company TRT Lighting. In April the group acquired 65 per cent of Dutch company Lightronics for £5.7 million.
Andrew Thorpe, 66, is the grandson of the company’s co-founder, Frederick William Thorpe. After serving an apprenticeship with the company he worked in various departments before becoming export sales director, manufacturing director and then managing director of Thorlux Lighting. He became chairman in 2003. His brother Ian Thorpe is a non-executive director.
FW Thorpe is worth at least £170 million and the family has a stake worth more than £130 million, along with other assets.