Privately owned manufacturer and distributor Gallery Direct is one of the fastest emerging furniture and home furnishings groups operating in the UK.

Revenue at the Kent based furniture and homewares supplier passed £13m in 2014 and will likely escalate in excess of that again this year.

It has expanded with the spring 2014 acquisition of the Frank Hudson business, while Wiltshire manufacturer Dreamworks Beds was added this September, which will operate as a sister company but with Peter Delaney md across both companies.

Gallery Direct was established in 1974, but the catalyst for transformation is much more recent, when the owners of one of the biggest lighting groups in Europe invested into the business.

The furniture, beds and accessories group is now ultimately owned by Meyer Maslo, Jacob Schimmel, Anna Schimmel, and Irwin Weiler. All are directors and shareholders in the National Lighting Company, the largest provider of domestic and commercial lighting to UK retailers and wholesalers.

Sales in 2014 totalled £122m, with the business making over £6m in pre-tax profits and with a net asset value of £44m. The National Lighting Company runs multiple sites across the UK, owns brands including Poole Lighting, Saxby and Endon and is the major shareholder in Germany based Brilliant AG, which sells its lighting products across the world

The National Lighting Company expanded further in January this year, paying £1.2m to buy the Interiors 1900 lighting business. Other interests are held separately, such as North London light bulbs and fittings company Genesis 1:3 Ltd. That business made £1.3m on sales of around £10m in 2014, and shares ownership in common.

Genesis 1:3 has also been a source of funding for Gallery Direct, loaning the Sittingbourne business £1.3m to help pay for freehold purchases last year, having previously loaned £3m to Gallery Direct’s ultimate holding company. In 2014, Gallery Direct was also advanced loans of £4.7m from the National Lighting Company as well as securing over £2.5m in bank borrowing. The figures all pre-date its 2015 acquisition of Dreamworks Beds.

With such well-financed and ambitious backing, Gallery Direct promises to be one of the most dynamic groups to watch over the next few years.

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