Pentland Group

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Pentland Group plc
Privately held company
Industry Sports, footwear, apparel
Headquarters Finchley, London
Area served
Key people
  • Stephen Rubin (Chairman, Pentland Group)
  • Andrew Rubin (Chairman, Pentland Brands)
Andy Long (CEO, Pentland Brands)

Pentland Group plc is a privately held, global brand management British company, involved in the sports, outdoor and fashion markets. Based in Finchley, north London, it is owned by Stephen Rubin and family. It had sales of £973 million in 2007, making it the 42nd largest private company in the United Kingdom.


The success of Pentland Group can be traced back to August 1981 when Pentland Industries acquired 55% of Reebok for US$77,500. By 1983/84, Reebok accounted for 70% of Pentland's turnover. Pentland's shares rose from GB£0.55 at the start of 1984 to GB£3 by the end of the year and up to GB£10 in June 1985, while profits rose from GB£1 million in 1983 to GB£12.9 million in 1985. Pentland then listed 60% of Reebok in a flotation valuing the company at US$300 million.[1]

Stephen Rubin joined Pentland at the age of 21, working for his father.[2] He later became chairman and chief executive of Pentland, remaining so until 1998 when he split his role and appointed his son, Andrew, chief executive.[2]

Pentland was taken private in 1999 to focus on longer-term investments.[3] However, it appears that City institutions were unhappy with the way Rubin was running the company, which underperformed the market by 40% since it floated in 1989.[2]

The Group’s brand management division, Pentland Brands, now comprises a portfolio of brands covering sports, outdoor and fashion. It manages owned brands such as Speedo, Canterbury of New Zealand, Berghaus, Brasher, Mitre, Prostar, Boxfresh, KangaROOS and Red or Dead; and also operates, under global licenses, the footwear of Lacoste and Ted Baker, and Kickers in the UK. Pentland is also a minority shareholder for other brands including Hunter Boot Ltd, Heidi Klein and Butterfly Twists.

Pentland Group acquired 45% of JD Sports Fashion plc from its founders, John Wardle and David Makin, in May 2005.[4] Pentland Group is the majority owner of JD Sports, which has 600 retail outlets in the UK, including JD, Bank, Scotts, Size, Blacks and Millets.

In 2013, the company reported a 45% drop in pre-tax profits to GB£62.9m.[5] However, Pentland Group saw total revenues rise 14.2% to £1.74bn, with the Olympics fuelling growth from sportswear brands such as Speedo.[6]

In 2014, Pentland reported total sales growth of 10% to £1.9bn and reported pre-tax earnings of £85m (Year to December 2013). Excluding income from its retail investments, turnover rose 11% to £590m, with Speedo delivering a record performance.[7]

In 2015, Pentland reported a revenue increase of 14% to £2.2bn (year to December 2014). Within the Pentland Brands portfolio, Speedo achieved “record sales” for the second year in a row.[8]

From 1 January 2015, Andy Rubin promoted to Chairman at Pentland Brands plc (a division of Pentland Group plc).[9]

In February 2016, JD Sports Fashion appoints Andy Rubin to its board as a non-executive director as the business looks to ramp up its international expansion.[10]

In June 2016, Pentland Group announces a 10% increase in sales to £2.4bn (year to December 2015). Rugby-inspired label Canterbury Brands had “record-breaking sales”, boosted by the Rugby World Cup. Operating profit, before tax and exceptional items, was up 36% year on year to £220m.[11]


  1. ^ Blakey, George G. (2010). A History of the London Stock Market 1945–2009. Harriman House. ISBN 1906659621. 
  2. ^ a b c Ahmad, Sameena (4 September 1997). "Concern as sportswear boss gives son top job". Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Tyler, Richard (16 October 2003). "Pentland's private route to 'best UK workplace'". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Finch, Julia (12 May 2005). "JD Sports founders cash in and quit with £45m". Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Digest: Pentland stuck in the mud". Sunday Times. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pentland Group revenues rise 14.2% in Olympics year". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Profits hike - The Sunday Times". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  8. ^ 27 June 2015
  9. ^ Samantha Conti. "Andy Rubin Promoted to Chairman Role at Pentland". WWD. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  10. ^ 12 February 2016
  11. ^ Retrieved 28 June 2016

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