2016: No.31 - £130m
2015: No.25= - £130m
An 83 per cent profit growth over three years was enough to propel Michael Wright’s Riviera Travel into 20th place in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table. The company’s impressive growth meant that buyout firms were queuing up for piece of the action in 2014.
The Burton-on-Trent company, which specialises in excursions, river cruises, escorted holidays and short breaks around the world, secured investment from Phoenix Equity Partners which netted founder and director Michael Wright and his wife Claire around £130 million.
They retained a significant shareholding and Michael Wright is still involved in the running of the company.
Bridgepoint, LDC, and Equistone all submitted bids for the company which was established by 59 year-old Wright in 1983. But Phoenix – the company which backed Jimmy Choo shoes – achieved pole position
In 2013 profits jumped to £10.2 million on sales of £106.2 million. Performance has grown steadily over recent years, boosted by repeat business and new destinations.
Michael Wright famously road tests the tours himself before offering them for sale. I(n June last year Which? voted Riviera one of the UK’s finest travel companies.
Award-winning Riviera – which employs 84 people – has developed a wide-ranging series of escorted tours, from short breaks and river cruises in Europe to 16-day itineraries across North America, India and the Middle East, but its reputation has been built on small details.
Michael Wright employs his own experienced and fully-trained tour leaders who are not only knowledgeable about their destination, but experienced in handling the concerns of clients.
Riviera’s success has also been built on the recognition that value for money is essential, and so they weathered the recession unscathed.
Every part of an itinerary is included – from the accommodation and food to the transfers and taxes – meaning no unexpected costs.