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Speedo record sales help owner to big revenue rise

RECORD sales of Speedo swimwear helped send total revenues at leisure brands group Pentland up 10 per cent last year to £1.9 billion.

The family-owned business said sales at its brands division, which also saw record performances from Lacoste Chaussures and Ted Baker footwear, jumped 11 per cent to £590 million after strong trading in countries including China, Brazil, Russia and Turkey.

Pentland owns a 57 per cent stake in JD Sports Fashion, where sales grew nine per cent to £1.3bn as the Blacks and Millets outdoor specialist bought out of administration in 2012 continues to recover.

Pre-tax profits were 36 per cent higher at £85m in 2013, having been hit in the previous year by the Blacks and Millets deal.

Pentland started out in 1932 as a shoe wholesaler in Liverpool. By the next decade the group had transformed itself into a footwear manufacturer, and in 1964 it became one of the first European companies to source shoes from Asia.

Other brands in its stable include Berghaus and Canterbury.

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