4imprint is a focused business with clear strategic priorities:
- Building a commercially and environmentally sustainable business that delivers value to all stakeholders
- Market leadership driving organic revenue growth
- Cash generation and profitability
- Effective capital structure
- Shareholder value
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We operate in two primary geographical markets: North America and the UK & Ireland.
These markets are large and fragmented. Annual revenues for the US and Canadian promotional products together in 2022 are estimated by industry trade associations to total around $25bn and to be served by around 26,000 distributors, of whom fewer than 1,000 have annual revenue of more than $2.5m. The UK and Irish markets are estimated to total around $1bn, and have a similar distribution structure.
Despite being one of the largest distributors in North America, our percentage share of the industry is still low, thus leaving a large and addressable target market.
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We have developed a highly efficient direct marketing business model, designed to provide unrestricted access for millions of potential customers to tens of thousands of customised promotional products.
All operations are underpinned by a commitment to deliver a remarkable customer experience, enabled by our proprietary order processing platform, and backed by our industry-leading customer guarantee.
Innovative brand, search engine and catalogue marketing methods are used to acquire new customers and targeted marketing techniques, such as the popular Blue Box™ sample mailings, enable us to retain existing customers.
Orders are mostly ‘drop-shipped’ directly to customers from our suppliers, requiring low investment in inventory and providing an efficient delivery service to short lead times. A high proportion of orders are paid by credit card, resulting in low working capital requirements. In conjunction with typically low capital expenditure, this produces a highly cash generative business model.
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We have a long-standing, principled approach to corporate responsibility and we are committed to building a commercially and environmentally sustainable business.
Our culture and values encourage responsible practice at all levels of the organisation and present clear guiding principles that drive ethical interactions with, and outcomes for, all key stakeholders.
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Profitability & Cash Generation
Our operational priority is to balance short-term profitability with marketing investment opportunities aimed at growing market share. Cash generated from operations is reinvested into organic growth initiatives based on multi-year revenue/return projections, subject to a target for underlying operating profit margin.
The ultimate objective is to combine consistent, profitable revenue growth with the attractive cash conversion ratio of our model to produce sustainable long-term growth in free cash flow.
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4imprint aims to deliver attractive Total Shareholder Return through execution of the Group’s growth strategy, producing both sustainable increases in EPS and associated progressive regular dividend increases.
Clear capital allocation guidelines call for excess cash, over and above the investment requirements and other commitments of the business, to be distributed to Shareholders.
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Aligning the Group’s funding with its strategic priorities requires a stable, secure, and flexible balance sheet through changing economic cycles. The Group will therefore typically remain ungeared and hold a net cash position.
These funding guidelines aim to provide the operational and financial flexibility to facilitate:
- Continued investment in marketing, people, and technology, recognising that an economic downturn typically represents a market share opportunity for the business.
- The ability of the business to act swiftly as growth opportunities arise.
- A commitment to Shareholders through the maintenance of regular interim and final dividend payments.
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The Executive Directors are 4imprint veterans who work closely with the operational management teams. The Board is guided by independent and experienced Non-Executive Directors.
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