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Sykes Holiday Cottages

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Leading independent holiday home provider

Sykes Holiday Cottages is the UK’s leading and fastest-growing independent holiday cottage rental agency with over 25 years’ experience in the business. Based in Chester, they offer a fantastic choice of holiday homes across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand – from cosy cottages for two to larger properties that sleep 20 or more.

Founded in 1991 by Clive Sykes, the business has nearly 25 years’ experience in matching customers to their perfect holiday home. At the time of Livingbridge’s investment in January 2015, Sykes managed 5,000 properties in the UK and Ireland and generated £17m revenue. By 2019 the business manages over 17,500 properties with sales of £68m*, having delivered market leading organic growth and completed 12 acquisitions underpinned by a highly effective digital transformation strategy. 

 

Feeling at home with organic and acquisitive growth 

  • We have worked with Sykes Cottages to develop its corporate development strategy, making 12 acquisitions during our investment to strengthen the business’ presence and portfolio in strategically important regions.

  • Our customer acquisition and retention team have worked with the management team to create scalable PPC campaigns, optimize other channels such as SEO, and develop greater brand awareness with the business launching mobile app My Sykes as well as their first TV advertising campaign to support continued expansion of their customer base. Sykes enjoyed a record year in 2019 with bookings up 26 per cent year-on-year, taking 1.6m people on holiday.
  • Sykes took its first step in growing the business internationally after investing in the leading holiday rental firm in New Zealand, Bachcare, in 2019. The move marked a new avenue for further expansion for the business, with plans to enter other new markets around the world.

 

“We’ve transformed the business within the last five years with the unwavering support from the Livingbridge team, and we are now in a strong position to scale further in what is a booming staycation market. Investing in our people, our service and technology platform will help us attract more holidaymakers and property owners, as well as helping us to continue our acquisition plans both in the UK and overseas.”

 

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages

 

 

Timeline

1991

Founded by Clive Sykes

2015

Investment by Livingbridge. Executive team strengthened with the appointment of a new CEO,  planned to allow Clive Sykes to step back.  Additional appointments include a head of HR, and a head of customer operations

2016

Voted best large UK holiday cottage booking company for the fourth year running at the British Travel Awards 

2017

Recognised at the Northern Tech Awards as one of the fastest-growing tech-based companies in the country

Named as one of the top 1000 firms to inspire Europe  

Sykes acquire West Country specialist operator, Cornish Cottages and Devonshire Cottages

Launch of mobile app

2018

Finalist at The Amazon Growing Business Awards

Recognised in GP Bullhound's ‘Northern Tech Awards Top 100 Companies’

2019

Sykes invest in New Zealand based Bachcare

Sykes win Large Management Team of the Year at the North West BVCA Management Team Awards 

Successful secondary sale 

 

* Sales and profits relate to Sykes Cottages Holdings Limited for the period ending 30 September 2019.