Scottish audiologists sound out acquisition opportunities south of the Border

A Scottish audiology business whose Glasgow clinic is thought to be among the biggest independent facilities in Europe is on the verge of completing two acquisitions that will further its presence in England.

The Hearing Clinic UK, owned by brothers Chris and Martin Stone, is already on course to nearly double turnover from the £2.1 million recorded during the year to the end of July as patients look to sidestep NHS backlogs. The acquisitions of the English practices are expected to further boost revenues by between £2m and £4m.

With long-established experience in audiology, the brothers set up the business in 2012 in Glasgow after purchasing the assets of a declining audiology practice in Bath Street. This has since moved to a 3,000sq ft custom-fitted site in St Vincent Place.

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The Hearing Clinic now includes a network of five facilities across central Scotland and a wholesale operation, plus a network of 10 “visiting sites” in the north-west of England which have been operated in partnership with an opticians’ chain since December of last year.

Chris Stone said the aim is to build a £10m to £15m turnover operation within the next four to five years through geographic expansion and the addition of new services. This comes on the heels of a boom in trading this summer as the business has emerged from pandemic lockdown restrictions.

“Covid-19 appears to have had an impact on older patients who, with their two jags out of the way, are now thinking about committing to a better quality of life by investing in the best available technology to improve their hearing,” he said.

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“Many of these patients are aware that while there are NHS-supplied hearing aids that can improve their hearing, as people used to making their own distinct choices, they are willing to invest in expert advice from expert advisers to benefit from the most advanced, discreet models appropriate to their lifestyles.”

The business has been supported in its growth plans by accountants Russell & Russell, who also assisted with two successful CBILS loan applications and furlough claims for 19 Hearing Clinic staff during the worst of last year’s lockdown restrictions.

All 26 employees are now back at work, with the firm recruiting to fill 10 further positions in Scotland.

“Demand is unprecedented at the moment,” Mr Stone added. “We are in a position where there is far too much work and we need more help.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992