2018: No.40 - £135m
2017: New Entry
The Sodha brothers established their Redditch-based pharmaceuticals empire in 1995. Their company, Lexon, now delivers drugs to more than 3,000 independent pharmacies and major groups across the UK and has become one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in the country.
Growth has been rapid at Lexon, which is run by brothers Anup, 55, Nitin, 62, and Pankaj Sodha, 64, and their nephew Pritesh Sonpal, 49. Other members of the family are shareholders. The company – based on the East Moons Moat estate – has also enjoyed success importing drugs and selling them in the UK, building a reputation for fast and efficient delivery at competitive prices. The family also operates its own chain of pharmacies.
Lexon operates two fully-automated warehouses for its distribution operation, as well as its own fleet of vans. It also has a depot in Leeds.
From its humble roots, Lexon has now established itself as one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in the UK, and also has a rapidly expanding international client base. Within five years of being established Lexon was increasing its sales growth at a rate of more than 70 per cent a year and was listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2000 and 2001. In 2012 the company hit the International Fast Track 200 with overseas sales growth – largely in Africa and Asia – running at 45 per cent a year. Lexon products are also exported to the Far East, the sub-continent, the Caribbean and across Europe.
Turnover now exceeds £200 million a year with much of that coming from overseas sales. The company – which more than 900 staff - is consistently profitable, posting a pre-tax profit of £8.37 million in the year to April 2017. Major customers include Boots, Lloyds Pharmacies and Tesco. The company has net assets of more than £40 million.
As well as drugs, the company supplies pharmacies with cosmetic goods and perfumes, and also dietary foods and veterinary drugs. The company’s NHS-audited site at Redditch also supplies hospital trusts and has an online sales operation.
The family also runs the separate £17 million turnover Knights Chemist and has property interests as well as an interest in Healthnet Homecare Ltd.