Two wheels good

As the world’s cities grow and road congestion becomes a bigger and bigger problem, more people are choosing to travel by bicycle rather than car. One cycle brand that has capitalised on this phenomenon is Brompton, the British manufacturer of folding bikes.

Founded in 1988, its first production facility was housed in a railway arch, but strong growth – particularly in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 – has seen it move to 22,000 sq ft premises in West London.

“We continued to see solid growth during the recession and have averaged around 20% compound growth year-on-year for the last seven years,” says CEO Will Butler-Adams. “During a recession, people look to tighten their belts and jumping on a bike to get about town is a good way to start. It costs virtually nothing to run and you can give up the gym membership at the same time.

  • 20% – Brompton’s average compound growth year-on-year for the last seven years

The company has long been export-oriented and Brompton bikes are now available in more than 40 countries around the world, including the US, Ireland and Spain. “Exporting seems daunting, complicated and risky, but it isn’t, it is fun,” says Will. “It diversifies your market and allows you to go on holiday, pretending it’s work!”

He adds: “Our aim is to continue to innovate in order to deliver delightful products that improve living in cities across the world. To achieve this, we will need more brain power, so we expect to grow our staff to around 500 in the next five years, which is about double the number we have now.”