Hard work and ambition are the bedrock of Sir Peter’s 40 successful years


Hard work, commitment and ambition are the critical career traits relied upon by Sir Peter Rigby - one of the UK’s most successful serial entrepreneurs – who is celebrating 40 years since founding the Rigby Group.

Sir Peter – who was knighted in 2002 – started out in 1975 with just £2000 of his own money and has spent the past four decades building and expanding a highly successful range of business interests covering technology, aviation, leisure, real estate and financial services.

Today - alongside his sons - he continues to be at the forefront of his business interests as the chairman and chief executive of the £1.8bn turnover Rigby Group.

Reflecting on his career, Sir Peter said: “I find business as exciting today as I did when I started and that’s because I have a total commitment to what I am doing. Even today I still set myself goals and want to do more and do better.

“I have always believed there is no substitute for hard work as well as a natural instinct to be bold and a desire to move forward. You need to be ambitious – not stupid ambitious – but nevertheless looking to the future and that’s what really gets the adrenalin going. Even today I want the Rigby Group to double in scale within the next five years. That’s my current ambition.”

Sir Peter’s first venture in 1975 was to found SCC which today is Europe’s largest independent IT company. He went out on his own after becoming frustrated with the corporate world.

He added: “I started a business with no university degree and I have always held great store by experience and getting mud on your boots. There are more failures than successes in IT and you need to be exposed to both in order to make it. There is no substitute for seeing good practice in action and working with good people. Looking back I sometimes wonder how it all happened and I am still astounded by the capabilities of our group, the quality of our people and the results we achieve - all of which are world class.”

Today Sir Peter is joined in the business by his sons Steven and James who are the Rigby Group COO and CEO of SCC respectively.

Remaining a family-owned business has always been a priority for Sir Peter who said: “Being a family-business is very important to me and I have never been interested in selling off what we have created. I have also always tried to extend the family culture to our whole company and believe in allowing people to make the best of themselves and progress upwards.”

In recent years Sir Peter - a qualified pilot - has increased his interests in sectors such as aviation and leisure, and despite the recent economic downturn, the Rigby Group has continued to grow.

He said: “During the recession there was no trimming in our core businesses. Every significant capital expenditure we delivered and our strategy was to invest. In the last 14 months we have made 11 acquisitions which demonstrates our long-term ambitions. I have no plans to stop or slow down and I still get up in the morning and want to go to work – I love doing what I am doing.”

Away from his business interests, Sir Peter has recently served as the Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), which aims to promote business and industry growth within the area. He is also a trustee of several key charities, including The Rigby Foundation, his family charitable trust.


EY National Lifetime Achievement Honour for Sir Peter


Founder and chief executive of Rigby Group Plc, Sir Peter Rigby has been recognised for his 40 years in business with a special national lifetime achievement honour from EY which was presented at the accountancy firm’s Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

Sir Peter, who started his first business in 1975, was given the lifetime achievement award at an event which was also recognising the Midlands region’s current crop of entrepreneurs and business leaders across a range of award categories.

Sir Peter Rigby, said: “I am delighted to be recognised by EY with this lifetime achievement award. When I look back at my career it has been an amazing journey and one that I enjoy as much today as I did at the start. This is my 40th year as an entrepreneur but my enthusiasm for business remains undimmed and I look forward the next stage of development and growth for the Rigby Group.”

Adrian Roberts, Partner and Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year Leader at EY, said: “Many congratulations to Sir Peter Rigby on achieving 40 years in business. He had the vision to build a world class business from scratch, which demonstrates true entrepreneurialism, drive and commitment. He’s also made a real impact by bringing jobs and wealth to the Midlands region, as well as across the UK and internationally.”

Rigby Group PLC focuses on six core areas: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, finance and aviation. It encompasses the technology solutions provider SCC, the luxury Eden Hotel Collection, British International Helicopters (BIH), Regional & City Airports (RCA) the property development business Rigby & Rigby and a wide range of additional investments including Rigby Capital.

The Group was recently named as one of the UK’s top 25 businesses in the prestigious Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 list.


Rigby Group Recognised in Sunday Times Top Track 100


Rigby Group Plc, the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses, has been named as one of the UK’s top 25 businesses in the prestigious Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 list.

The full list was published yesterday (Sunday 7) and Rigby Group plc - which was founded by Sir Peter Rigby and is run with his two sons Steven and James - was placed at number 24.

The Rigby Group - which includes interests in technology, aviation, leisure and property among others - has grown significantly in the past 18 months through a series of strategic acquisitions. The recognition coincides with Sir Peter Rigby celebrating 40 years as one of the UK’s leading business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Sir Peter Rigby, said: “To be recognised in this way is a huge honour for the Rigby Group which has grown at a fast rate particularly over the last few years. Alongside our growth and focus on different sectors, we remain a family-owned and run business and work hard to translate that into our wider values as well as the culture we have created. We firmly believe that as a growing collection of businesses, we need to maintain core principles at every level which help underpin our success.”

Steven Rigby, Group COO, added: “This type of recognition is testament to the hard work and excellence across our Group and demonstrates that we are being noticed for delivering on our stated growth strategies.”

Rigby Group focuses on six core areas: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, finance and aviation. It encompasses the technology solutions provider SCC, the luxury Eden Hotel Collection, British International Helicopters (BIH), Regional & City Airports (RCA) the property development business Rigby & Rigby and a wide range of additional investments including Rigby Capital.


FY15: Strategic transition keeps SCC UK growth plans on track with DCS revenue up 87%


SCC* has announced its annual results for year ending March 2015, with Services revenue reaching £159m, up 22% and accounting for 24% of its total income.

Combined UK Operations*:

  • FY15 revenue £662m, down 13.3%;
  • Services revenue up 22% to £159m, now 24% of total revenue;
  • Gross Profit (GP) increase of 15% and margin rate up 3.7% in the year to 15.5%;
  • Share of GP from Services up 11% in the year to 55% of overall GP;
  • EBITDA up 25% on prior year to £19.4m;
  • PBT at £12.4m up 20% on prior year;
  • M2 print business contributes turnover of £27m and EBITDA of £1.6m.

*SCC plc & M2 Digital Ltd

The transition has seen dramatic changes in the underlying business and hyper growth in Cloud Delivered Managed Services (CDMS – DCS & Connectivity), as SCC moves the business away from low margin product sales.

Key to SCC EMEA’s strategy to reach £50m EBITDA by FY17 is its Services division, which saw an overall GP growth of 22% in FY15.

This was supported by key new business wins with Kier Group, Samworth Brothers, Grafton Group, Mcdonald Hotels, United Utilities, Department for Work and Pensions, and WHSmith.

SCC’s Professional Services business grew 11% versus last year, with Managed Services up 13% and growth from the new Flexible Resourcing service.

As SCC continues to invest heavily in its Data Centre Services (DCS) – most recently taking a majority share in Fluidata, the Data Delivery Network – it enjoyed another year of accelerated growth, up 87% on FY14.

DCS closes the year on £26m, with an Annualised Run Rate (ARR) of £34m. March 2015 alone saw Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) increase 100% compared to last year.

As SCC’s Cloud platforms enter maturity, DCS GP closed the year at 44% from 25%, with ARR closing on £29.4m, 96% ahead of the previous year.

Monthly DCS EBITDA closes 220% ahead of FY14, at an annualised EBITDA of £12m (pre-central costs).

Following SCC’s acquisition of SSE’s Tier 3+ Data Centre in Fareham and our recent 2nd phase 360 rack Birmingham investment, our total rack capacity is over 1,800 and 14Mv of power, the business closes the year on 67% occupancy and annual rack growth of 145%.

Looking ahead to FY16 for the combined UK business, turnover for Services business is expected to top £200m with Cloud Services set to close next March on £55m and an ARR of £70m.

EBITDA is estimated to grow 30% to £25m, with stable Product revenues of £500m and overall revenues of £700m.

SCC Chief Executive James Rigby said: “The business is firmly on track to achieve its 3-year target of £50m EBITDA. We now have a sizeable Services business to further our growth and margins through recurring revenues.

“Cloud Delivered Managed Services is the way forward for SCC. We have already started our next phase with a £10m investment in our own Data Centres, building additional data halls at Birmingham and Fareham facilities to increase capacity to 3,000 racks in FY16 to cater for CDMS growth of up to 60%.

“SCC has always been a company with vision and an ability to deliver. We have an exciting year ahead as we grow our Services business organically and through further investments.”

In Europe, SCC France recorded its best year of EBITDA for a second consecutive year, up 5.4% to £15.7m. Overall revenue in France closed on £812m a 3% improvement in constant currency terms.

SCC Spain increased its revenue by £8m to £48m versus FY14 – a constant currency increase of 30%, with EBITDA of £0.6m, up 123%, as it continues its own transition to a services led business.

And SCC Romania saw revenues of £9.2m, while the business delivered a 103% increase of EBITDA to £1.2m. During the year, headcount grew to 711 people at the facilities in Iasi and Bacau. During FY16, it is expected to grow to more than 1,200 people.

SCC EMEA closed the year on £1.55bn revenue and EBITDA of £35.2m; an increase of 10% over the prior year.


Rigby Group Launches Captive Finance Division

  • Business aiming to turnover £75million in the UK within two years

Rigby Group Plc, the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses, has launched a captive finance division to help customers fund future investments particularly in IT.

Rigby Capital is headed up by Nigel Jenkins, who has previously held similar roles in CISCO, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.

The new company, which is based in Bracknell and employs 8 staff, aims to turn over around £75million of revenues within two years in the UK principally through offering finance solutions to customers of Rigby Group’s core IT businesses, SCC and M2.

Steven Rigby, Rigby Group COO, commented: “Our experience and knowledge of the IT market in particular has shown there is a strong demand for these types of solution. The sector has transitioned significantly and we are seeing more demand for captive finance to fund new investments rather than traditional sources such as the banks.

“We are very confident that by providing this service within the Rigby Group, we can offer a service and solution which is different to what is already on the market.”

The Group already has an existing and successful leasing business in France which will also re-brand as Rigby Capital.

Nigel Jenkins, General Manager, Rigby Capital, commented: “My previous experience has been with very large US-based IT firms which have the capability but not always the flexibility which I believe is crucial in this sector. Rigby Capital will provide an effective and responsive offer to clients where decision-making is done on the ground. What we have which sets us apart, is the financing and route to market through the successful IT brands within the Group combined with the agility to adjust our solutions to meet client requirements.”


Rigby Group Invests In Data Delivery Business Fluidata


Rigby Group plc has invested in Data Delivery Business Fluidata.

The investment enables additional services capability to Rigby Group’s technology division, SCC, is the Group’s 14th piece of M&A activity since hitting the acquisition trail in 2013, and the first in 2015.

Fluidata, the Data Delivery Network, is a multi-award-winning business that delivers innovative high speed data connectivity solutions to the corporate, industry and public sectors.

It specialises in Layer-2 and Layer-3 delivery using a wide reach of technologies including DSL, EFM, Fibre, VPLS/MPLS, Wireless and unique failover/aggregation technology.

The strategic partnership with Fluidata is another milestone in the accelerated growth of SCC’s services division – with services turnover alone increasing 25% to £165m by the close of the fiscal.

It follows Rigby Group’s acquisition of SSE Telecoms’ flagship Hampshire Data Centre earlier this quarter, representing the addition of a second Tier 3+ facility alongside its Birmingham Data Centre.

Rigby Group Chief Operating Officer Steve Rigby said of the acquisition: “Securing this deal provides additional services capability and a stable foundation for SCC to enter the Data Telecoms market.

“SCC remains the cornerstone of the Group in terms of revenues and this acquisition further underlines our investment plans in Data Centre Services.”

James Rigby, Chief Executive of SCC, added: “Fluidata very much complements our data centre services investment strategy, providing greater flexibility and value to our customers and the overall market.”

Piers Daniell, Managing Director of Fluidata, commented: “Aligning our business with SCC increases our overall service offering and expands our Data Centre capability while making the most of our diverse connectivity offering.

“SCC’s pedigree, leading position and IT portfolio provides our customers with more choice and value. It’s a great match for everyone."


SCC On Course To Meet Growth Target As Services Wins Keep Coming


SCC has announced a successful start to the financial year as additional service contracts ensured continued growth of its UK business during the first half. SCC remains on target to achieve its FY15 and 3 year strategic plan objectives.

After the SCC EMEA group increased revenue by 9.5% to £1.74bn in the last financial year to March 2014, CEO James Rig by set an interim financial goal of £50m EBITDA which the group is well on course to meet thanks to further growth in UK Data Centre and Cloud revenues.

By the end of September 2014, SCC UK turnover had reached £304m, with gross margin at 12.5%.

SCC UK’s s ervices business continued to perform well. Services turnover had increased 11% to £69m by the half year, with services gross profit also up by 24%.

Combined SCC UK product and services gross profit was in line with expectations; 11% ahead of prior year.

SCC has seen increasing returns on its £20m investment in Data Centre Services (DCS). DCS revenue for the year to September rose to £11m, an increase of 90% compared to the same period in the prior year: gross margins increasing as a result (by 360%). DCS t urnover is expected to reach £26m per annum by March 2016.

Investment in people in the data centre has continued following an unprecedented period of new customer wins from the private sector and the secure Government cloud solution, “Sentinel by SCC”.

Per formance in the UK DCS space will be enhanced following the recent acquisition of the SSE Hampshire data centre expected to complete in Q3 FY15.

SCC’s UK Professional Services business continued to flourish across its portfolio of services, including proje ct management & consultancy, desktop migrations, networking and unified communications. Revenues grew by 27% (to £16m) compared with the first six months of the prior year.

UK Flexible Resource, a focused business unit providing skilled IT professionals to customers on a short term contract basis, has seen unprecedented demand, with revenues increasing to £3m with expectation for this to rise to circa £8m per annum over the next 12 months.

Turnover in the UK Managed Services business continued to grow, up 4 % to £35m.

Seven months on from SCC’s successful acquisition of M2 Digital Ltd, SCC’s Managed Print Services business has witnessed its best ever period of new business wins, gaining four new contracts in as many months at the start of the year.

New customers Babcock, Northumbria Water and Vaultex represent a hat-trick of deals exceeding 4,000 devices in total and contracted revenues of more than £10m. Compass plc’s subsequent three-year renewal completed an excellent start to FY15 for M2.

Since the end of the prior financial year, SCC has added a number of high-profile customers to its existing services portfolio and, in addition, has won several awards including Polycom Highest Partner for Growth, HP PartnerOne Worldwide New Style Of IT Partner Of The Year and Best Staff and Community Scheme at the Birmingham Recycling & Sustainability Awards.

The company has also been shortlisted for multiple services-led accolades, due to be announced later in the year, and launched a new, dedicated Oracle Practice following a succession of key wins.

Rigby said: “We have made a great start to the financial year. After a successful FY14, we’re showing good progress against our business targets and are firmly on track to meet our 2017 SCC EMEA Group financial goal of £50m EBITDA.

“The additional services wins represent a continued period of exceptional achievement – our best ever – and we look forward to continued success into the second half of the year.”


Rigby Group Poised for Further Investment


Rigby Group (RG) plc (Rigby Group”), the holding company for the business investments of the Rigby Family, has published its results for the year to 31 March 2014.

The Group, which has made a number of acquisitions in 2013 and 2014, comprises six core divisions: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, financial services and aviation.

  • The technology businesses are principally held by the SCC EMEA Limited group and trade under the “SCC” brand.
  • The airport businesses are held by the Regional & City Airports Holdings Limited (“RCA”) group.
  • The hotels businesses are held by the Eden Hotel Collection Limited group and trade under the “Eden Hotel Collection” brand.
  • The real estate businesses are held by the Rigby Group Property Holdings Limited group, and trade under the “Rigby & Rigby” brand. This division also has a 50% interest in Coventry & Warwickshire Development Partnership LLP.
  • The financial services businesses include investments in cash and structured products held by the ultimate holding company; a recently established private equity business; and leasing businesses which will trade under the Blu Finance brand in the near future.
  • The aviation businesses are held by the Patriot Aerospace Limited Group, trading under the “British International Helicopters” brand.

Group Highlights

  • Consolidated revenues of continuing operations of £1.71b (2013: £1.51b)
  • Group pre-tax profit of continuing operations before exceptional items of £15.1m (2013:£0.2m)
  • Group total pre-tax profit of £9.6m (2013: £108.8m), although 2013 included exceptional profit on disposal of discontinued operations of £130.4m
  • Year-end net cash of £123.7m (2013: £196.2m)
  • Year-end net assets of £257.8m (2013: £283.7m)
  • EBITDA (before exceptional items) for the continuing operations of £33.2m (2013: £19.2m)
  • Dutch SCC operations incurred operating loss of £3.3, (2013: £7.0m). Dutch operations disposed of in June 2014.
  • Following the successful disposal of its European technology distribution businesses in November 2012, the group has been very active in the M&A markets across its portfolio interests.


  • Following the disposal of its Dutch operations, SCC is now a single focused technology business with a clear strategy for services proposition development. In February, 2014, SCC acquired the UK’s leading independent managed print services group M2. An investment fund of £100m earmarked for strategic acquisitions, of which M2 represented the first acquisition and further acquisitions planned for 2014.


  • The airports division now firmly established with three owned assets in Coventry Airport, Exeter International Airport (acquired June 2013) and Norwich International Airport (acquired post year end in June 2014). The Group also operates Blackpool International Airport and Derry airports for their owners, together with the Daedalus airfield for the Homes and Communities agency. Collectively, the Group transits 2.2m passengers each year.


  • The hotels business currently owns nine luxury hotels in the Midlands and South West. In January 2014, the Group acquired a site in Salcombe with plans to develop a £15m contemporary 50 bedroom hotel. Bovey Castle was acquired post year end in June 2014 and is now the Group’s flagship hotel with 64 bedrooms and 14 lodges all located within 275 acres near Dartmoor.

Real Estate

  • The real estate division continues to develop its two core businesses: super prime London residential development; and commercial property development. Rigby & Rigby
  • has a strong market presence in London. During the year, the business worked on 12 residential projects and, post year end, completed its award winning St Saviours project for a client, which was subsequently sold for £41m by the client.
  • Within the airports division, the Group now has in excess of £500m of commercial property development opportunities, with £350m Gross Development Value planned at the 4.1m sq. ft. “Gateway” development surrounding Coventry Airport; an approved £100m scheme surrounding Norwich Airport; and further discrete development schemes totalling £50m at Coventry Airport and Exeter Airport.

Financial Services

  • At the year end, the group had invested in excess of £70m with two private banks, which generated returns in excess of £1.1m. The group will also develop its existing technology Leasing Services businesses in the UK and France which will be rebranded as Blu Finance with the intention of becoming a leading force in the provision of leasing backed technology managed services. The group has also announced its intention to launch a £40m private Equity fund, managed under the Rigby Equity Investments brand.


  • The aviation division completed the major acquisition of British International Helicopters in May 2013. This positions the group’s commercial helicopter business as a significant provider in the commercial helicopter market with major clients including Ministry of Defence, QinetiQ and BBC. Subsequent to year end, the group acquired the Capital Air Charter group.

Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman and Chief Executive, commented:

“The group is undertaking the most significant transformation in its history. We have ambitious projects in every division to transform Rigby Group into a dynamic private business, appropriately diversified and market leading in its capabilities. In the coming years, we see significant opportunities to further increase the profitability of the group across all divisions.

“The group remains in a very strong position, with a net cash balance at 31 March 2014 of £123.7m to support both the organic and acquisitive growth planned for our divisions.”

Steven Rigby, Group Chief Operating Officer, commented:

“We have consistently spoken of our desire to grow the Group through acquisitions and we are delivering on that promise. Further funds are available and we fully expect to expand the Group over the next 12 months.”


Rigby Group Acquires Flagship Data Centre from SSE Telecoms


Rigby Group plc’s technology business SCC has acquired SSE Telecoms’ flagship Hampshire Data Centre, taking its total investment in Data Centres to more than £50million in the past 12 months.

The transaction sees SCC take ownership of the Fareham-based site which is owned by the FTSE 100 listed energy and utility provider.

The deal, which will provide SCC with crucial additional capacity in the South of England, is the Group’s 12th piece of M&A activity since hitting the acquisition trail in 2013 and the seventh in 2014 alone.

The data centre is a Tier 3+ facility, with advanced back-up systems, multiple uplinks and dual power systems in place to remain operational in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

Graded second highest in the data centre ranking system, it guarantees service availability 99.982% of the time and comes with a number of long-term deals in place with major corporate clients.

SCC witnessed growth of 69% from Data Centre and Cloud services alone last year following a succession of key customer wins including Gist, Aggregate Industries, BOC, IBM, Oxfordshire County Council, CAA and the Highways Agency.

Steven Rigby, Rigby Group COO, said: “We are pleased to have been able to move quickly to secure this deal which provides crucial extra capacity and room for further expansion and investment.

“SCC remains the cornerstone of the group in terms of revenues and we have previously stated our desire to build our business through acquisition and this deal is further testament of this plan. We are also looking at other opportunities to continue to invest.”

James Rigby, SCC CEO, said: “This is a significant acquisition from a major FTSE 100 company, which represents another major step towards our goal to become Europe’s principal IT services business.

“We set out this ambition in our 3-5 year plan. The purchase of SSE’s data centre more than doubles our capacity and underpins the £50m spent on developing our data centre & cloud capabilities last year.”

Earlier this year, SCC acquired Europe’s leading independent managed print IT service provider M2 Digital as part of its strategic plan to significantly expand and strengthen its service division.

Elsewhere the Rigby Group has also completed deals to buy Norwich International Airport as well as two hotels in the South West.


Eden Hotel Collection wins Small Hotel Group of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards


Eden Hotel Collection was awarded the coveted accolade of AA Small Hotel Group of the Year 2014 last night at the AA Hospitality Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The award recognises small hotel companies which have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improve and develop their portfolio of hotels, while maintaining a high level of consistency throughout the group.

The Eden Hotel Collection is a privately-owned group of nine luxury hotels across the Midlands, the Cotswolds and the South West.

Managing Director Mark Chambers collected the award on behalf of the company at a glittering event to celebrate excellence in the hotel and hospitality industry hosted by TV newsreader Fiona Bruce.

Mark said: “We are delighted and extremely proud to have been recognised by the AA Hospitality Awards, which is hugely prestigious for our industry. To win this award in a highly competitive market place is a great achievement and one which I’m honoured to share with each and every member of our fantastic team.

“Our commitment to delivering unrivalled and exceptional guest experiences is at the heart of everything we do and it’s what keeps our guests coming back time and time again.

“The knowledge and experience of the AA’s inspectors is unrivalled and an AA rating is one of the most trusted forms of quality and service recognition in the hospitality industry. This achievement is an enormous source of pride to everyone who works at the Eden Hotel Collection,” added Mark.

The AA award win caps a highly successful year of expansion and investment for Eden. In April the company announced a planned £13.5m investment in the 35-bedroom Tides Reach Hotel in Salcombe, South Devon. The site is being redeveloped to create a 50-bedroom luxury beachfront hotel and spa. And in June it acquired the 64-bedroom Bovey Castle in the heart of Dartmoor National Park and is planning a major investment in the country house estate, which today includes an 18-hole championship golf course, spa, country lodges and an outdoor pursuits centre.

Praising Eden Hotel Collection’s success in winning the award, Head of AA Hotel Services, Simon Numphud, said: “We are delighted to recognise the Eden Hotel Collection with this prestigious award. This delightful small group has consistently re-invested in their hotels year on year with some impressive refurbishments. In addition, and most importantly, the strength of their hotels is their individuality and the high standards of hospitality and service delivered by their dedicated and professional teams.”