Victorian Plumbing IPO: Everything you need to know about Victorian Plumbing

Victorian Plumbing hit a record £850m market capitalisation upon admission to the Alternative Investment Market in June 2021. So what made this Liverpool-based firm such a success?

Charts (1)

What does Victorian Plumbing do?

There is nothing complex about Victorian Plumbing. Often, when writing about IPOs on these pages, we are required to explain, or attempt to explain some niche technology that is sometimes hard to wrap your head around.

With Victorian Plumbing, it’s all about online bathroom supplies: showers, basins, toilets and so on. Oh, and tiles. Lots of them too.

The resilience of certain sectors during the year-plus of pandemic adjustments has certainly had its winners – and families who haven’t spent money on holidays have built up cash reserves for home improvements: loft conversions, refurbished basements, a new garden shed doubling up as a home office. And bathrooms of course.

With a share of about 14% of the £1.2bn market for sanitary ware and accessories in the UK, Victorian Plumbing is the largest online participant in the space.

Is Victorian Plumbing profitable?

Victorian Plumbing posts healthy profits year-on-year, and those profits are becoming ever more substantial.

It could be said that 2019 was something of a breakthrough year. Revenue grew by 28% to hit £118m. But profit was particularly impressive, rising from £3.5m to £10.1m. In the year to September 2020, revenue almost doubled to £208.7m and profits surged again, to £26.2m.

Most recent accounts show that in the six months to March 31, 2021, it produced even better figures, with revenue of £140.7m, and earnings of £20.1m.

What happened in the Victoria Plumbing IPO?

Victorian Plumbing's float proved a financial windfall for chief executive Mark Radcliffe, who founded the company in 2000. Prior to IPO, Radcliffe, 42, held a 74% stake while his brother Neil has 14% and his mother 4%.

A born entrepreneur, Mark earned his first million setting up First2save, a mobile phone accessories business, from his parents' shed. 

Shares surged around 20% on their first day of trading, valuing the company in excess of £1bn and official setting a new record benchmark for the AIM, London’s junior market.

Victorian Plumbing raised just £11.6m in new money, which was used mostly to cover the costs of the flotation. But its £850m market capitalisation upon admission was enough to seal its place as the largest company to list on the Alternative Investment Market.

Shares climbed as much as a quarter to 329p on the day of the float, before falling back to 321p in late afternoon trade.

What was the reaction to the Victoria Plumbing IPO?

Radcliffe raised £212m selling a portion of his own holding at 262p a share and described the float as a “landmark day”. He still owns a 45% stake.

At 275p a share as of July 19, 2021 are down around 16% from their peak at launch.

Who are the directors of Victorian Plumbing?

Victorian Plumbing has five directors, as follows:
  • Philip Bowcock, Chair
  • Mark Radcliffe, CEO
  • Paul Meehan, CFO 
  • Damian Sanders, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Kath Smith, Independent Non-Executive Director
Victorian Plumbing has five people in its senior leadership team, which is led by MD Stephnie Judge. She joined the company in 2013 as a personal assistant before earning promotion to take over the role from Radcliffe on March 1, 2020.

She is assisted by:
  • Neil Radcliffe, Product Director
  • Rich Monaghan, Director of Finance
  • Joe Pascoe, CMO
  • Leighan Mason, CTO

What is Victorian Plumbing’s business strategy?

Victorian Plumbing has no physical retail footprint, stocking its products in central warehouses and delivering to homes.

Around 86% of sales are to retail customers, with the company now looking to increase its sales to trade customers.

Radcliffe is also keen to widen his range to include lighting products and to expand into Europe. Ireland, France, Spain and Germany are the logical markets to explore assuming post-Brexit bureaucracy can be comfortably negotiated.

Victorian Plumbing has already prospered on the increasing willingness of customers to trust online enterprises for the purchase of bulky domestic hardware. Ecommerce specialists now account for about 29% big DIY chains, steadily eating in to the market share of big DIY stores (36%).

Around three-quarters of Victorian Plumbing’s sales coming from own-brand products such as Chatsworth and Arezzo, which allows for higher gross margins.

How to trade stocks at City Index

You can trade stocks with City Index using spread-bets or CFDs, with spreads from 0.1%. Follow these easy steps to start trading now.

  1. Open a City Index account or log-in if you’re already a customer.
  2. Search for the company you want to trade in our award-winning platform.
  3. Choose your position and size, and your stop and limit levels.
  4. Place the trade

More from IPO


This report is intended for general circulation only. It should not be construed as a recommendation, or an offer (or solicitation of an offer) to buy or sell any financial products. The information provided does not take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before you act on any recommendation that may be contained in this report, independent advice ought to be sought from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment product, taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd., may distribute reports produced by its respective foreign entities or affiliates within the StoneX group of companies or third parties pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the report is distributed to a person in Singapore who is not an accredited investor, expert investor or an institutional investor (as defined in the Securities Futures Act), StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. accepts legal responsibility to such persons for the contents of the report only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. at 6826 9988 for matters arising from, or in connection with the report.

In the case of all other recipients of this report, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations neither StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. nor its associated companies will be responsible or liable for any loss or damage incurred arising out of, or in connection with, any use of the information contained in this report and all such liability is hereby expressly disclaimed. No representation or warranty is made, express or implied, that the content of this report is complete or accurate.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. is not under any obligation to update this report.

Trading CFDs and FX on margin carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for some investors. Consider your investment objectives, level of experience, financial resources, risk appetite and other relevant circumstances carefully. The possibility exists that you could lose some or all of your investments, including your initial deposits. If in doubt, please seek independent expert advice. Visit for the complete Risk Disclosure Statement.