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Special Interest

GREEN UMBRELLA – COMPANY PROFILE

Green Umbrella is one of the Europe's leading independent producers and distributors of sports and special interest programmes and books.

Founded in 1990, the Surrey-based company has a catalogue of more than 1000 DVD titles across a variety of genres from football, golf and rugby to health, history and motoring and also publishes sports and special interest books for distribution around the world.

Latterly, the company has moved into entertainment product including the distribution of feature films and music CDs from its new offices in London’s Covent Garden.

With its head office on the edge of Hoebridge Golf Course at Old Woking, Green Umbrella runs its mail-order and catalogue business from two warehouses at Sutton, Surrey; its publishing division from offices in Swindon, Wiltshire; and its cricket division from a newly-refurbished showroom at Eridge, near Tunbridge Wells.

From these offices, and with more than 30 staff the company offers a wide variety of home entertainment services including:

HOT 100 LIST

Green Umbrella Sport and Leisure will be featuring in this year's Hot 100 list of the fastest-growing companies in the UK, published by Real Business, the leading magazine for entrepreneurs and growing businesses (www.realbusiness.co.uk). The Hot 100 is based on compound average growth rate measured over a four-year period (using accounts filed at Companies House). To qualify, the latest accounts needed to show sales in excess of £5m and be profitable. Our research shows that Green Umbrella's sales have grown 72.7 per cent, from £1.3m to £7.1m over the past four years.

The Hot 100, published in the April issue of Real Business, is one of the highlights in our editorial calendar and is likely to receive a huge amount of publicity in the national and regional press, trade and industry magazines, and TV, radio and internet news organisations. For further details, you might want to visit: http://www.realbusiness.co.uk/Hot100/?Index=1002

PRODUCTION

Green Umbrella produces more than 50 programmes a year not only for its own labels but also as exclusive releases for Marks & Spencer, WH Smith and Past Times.

The company uses a regular team of producers and has two edit suites to control all facets of the production process from scripting and filming to on-line editing and authoring.

DESIGN

With two full-time designers, and a minority shareholding in a London design company, Green Umbrella handles all its own design requirements from sleeves and on-bodies to catalogues and advertisements.

DISTRIBUTION

The company handles all its own mail-order and internet fulfilment from its warehouses in Sutton sending out more than a million catalogues each year as well as serving more than 1200 trade accounts.

MAIL-ORDER

The bulk of mail order sales are derived from the company’s bi-annual sports catalogues covering golf, rugby and fishing. Ancillary sales also come from off-the-page advertising as well as reader offers and media promotions.

INTERNET

Green Umbrella not only runs its own web-site – www.greenumbrella.co.uk – but also looks after DVD and books sales via Sky Sports and Cricshop internet shops, two of the most popular dedicated sports sites in the UK.

INTERNATIONAL

The company both sells and buys sports and special interest programmes and books around the world, and has a stand at the MipTV and MipCom international trade exhibitions as well as at The Frankfurt Book Fair.

BOOKS

The company has published more than 30 books in the past couple of years covering subjects from sport to hobbies and history. This has also enabled Green Umbrella to create exclusive gift packs offering both DVDs and tie-in books, with sales topping a quarter of a million packs last year.

MUSIC

The company’s first forays into music CDs has included a stunning collection of Best Of compilations from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole.

DISNEY

The company has acquired a seven-year licence to distribute Disney educational programmes to schools, libraries and bookshops across the UK.

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