Ultimate Products appoints former Poundland boss as chairman

Housewares company Ultimate Products has appointed Jim McCarthy – chief executive of Poundland from 2006 until July 2016 – as chairman.

Jim has more than 40 years’ experience in the retail industry. During his tenure at Poundland, which describes itself as Europe’s largest value general merchandise retailer, annual sales grew from £300 million to £1.3 billion and store numbers increased from 150 to over 900.

The business was floated on the London Stock Exchange in March 2014 and acquired by Steinhoff International in September 2016.

Prior to Poundland, Jim was managing director of Sainsbury’s convenience store business and, earlier in his career, held the post of chief executive officer of T&S Stores. Under its One Stop fascia, T&S Stores became a leading specialist neighbourhood retailer in the UK and was sold to Tesco in 2003, for an enterprise value of over £500m.

Ultimate Products co-founder and chief executive Simon Showman said: “I’m delighted Jim is joining us for the next chapter in our growth. He brings a wealth of retail knowledge and experience, gleaned over many years working at the very top of some of our key customers.”

Jim commented: “I’ve known about Ultimate Products for several years, during which time it was a supplier to Poundland.

“Simon is a highly creative, highly driven entrepreneur and has the added benefit of being extremely personable.

“Ultimate Products has a terrific track record of growth, which has been achieved by building an impressive range of brands and delivering amazing value for money to customers.”

Ultimate Products is focused on consumer goods for the home, selling products under brands such as Beldray, intempo, Salter and Constellation to over 300 retailers across 38 countries. UK customers including B&M, Argos, Robert Dyas and the big four supermarkets.

Established in Manchester in 1997, the business has grown from its origins as a sourcing company for retailers into a brands house employing 185 people in the UK and China.

Ultimate Products posted a 23.2% surge in sales to £79m and a 50% soar in pre-tax profit to a record £7.5m for the year to July 31.

For the three months to October 31, sales totalled £33m – up 49% on the prior year. The company also reported a 55% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profit to £3.4m.


Jim McCarthy


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