PE-backed Martin Audio sees double-digit growth


LDC-backed Martin Audio, a designer and manufacturer of premium high-performance loudspeaker systems, has recorded double-digit sales growth following a series of product launches and overseas expansion.

The Buckinghamshire-based business, which provides sound systems for some of the UK’s biggest festivals, reported a 22 per cent increase in sales in its financial year 2017-18, growing from GBP16.5million to GBP20.1million. It is now forecasting a further 20 per cent increase throughout 2019.
 
Over the same period, Martin Audio has added a number of major global rental clients to its roster, including US-based Soundworks, Southard Audio and Twilight Audio which were part of efforts to consolidate the brand’s footprint in North America, where it is now established as a direct distributor. In addition, Jamaican brand Main Event Entertainment, and Dominican Republic-headquartered Group AR were also added joining the ranks of Martin Audio rental companies that manage tours, corporate events and major festivals including London’s British Summertime Festival at Hyde Park, Rock in Rio and Rock in Japan.
 
The brand has also launched 15 new products over the past 12 months, and extended its scalable acoustic technology offering. Its new range of sound solutions has enabled the business to expand into the commercial install space, allowing it to compete successfully with major industry players.
 
Martin Audio was backed by LDC in 2018, in a management buyout from global audio specialist Loud Audio. As part of the deal, LDC invested GBP12million in the company, alongside its existing management team.
 
Following the carve-out, Martin Audio has invested in developing key teams, processes and enhancing its computer software and ERP systems, as well as recruiting a new finance department from scratch.
 
Over the next 12 months, the business is looking to further expand its product range to further increase its market share.
 
Dom Harter, Managing Director of Martin Audio, says: “This has been a significant year for Martin Audio, with a series of key product launches to help us continue providing incredible audio experiences to our customers. We’ve also laid the groundwork for future growth by enhancing key business functions and ensuring we have the best possible team in place.
 
“LDC has backed our plan from the beginning and has played a key role in helping us set the wheels in motion, offering us the flexibility we needed and directly supporting our recruitment efforts. We’re now looking to build on the momentum we have created to expand our offering even further and become a major player in the market.”
 
Philip Weston, Investment Director at LDC London, adds: “The ambition and drive of Dom and his team has helped Martin Audio to achieve record sales this year, expanding their portfolio of products to ensure they are at the forefront of audio technology. We are excited to continue working with the team and supporting them through their next phase of growth.”
 
Martin Audio was founded in the 1970s by legendary Australian sound engineer Dave Martin, and started out producing touring systems for international super groups including Pink Floyd, The Who and Supertramp.

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