Millionaire plumber Charlie Mullins is on the hunt for major investment to expand his business across the UK – and into Dubai.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Pimlico Plumbers recorded one of its "most successful years to date", with a turnover of £50 million ($70.7m) in the past 12 months.
Speaking to The National from one of his homes, in Marbella, Spain, the eccentric businessman said now is the time to broaden his commercial horizons.
The firm currently operates exclusively in London, but Mr Mullins has bold plans for the future.
"We're looking for £100 million as an investment and we're looking to roll out the business country-wide in the UK, and in the future, Dubai too," he said.
“If investors could get a 10, 12 or 15 per cent return on investment, that’s attractive.
“We are trying to grow the brand, not sell out, so the name and brand won’t change, that’s for sure. I worked too hard for that.”
Mr Mullins said he still wants to “have a hand in the business”, but how much of a hand really depends on what deal they can come to with investors.
His son, Scott Mullins, who is the director of the company, “is not going anywhere”, he said.
Pimlico Plumbers was first established in 1979 when Mr Mullins, 68, set up the company from a small basement in central London.
Today, the company is worth more than £70 million and is the most successful plumbing firm in the UK.
With 250 company vans on the road, his plumbing-themed number plates, including "bog 1", "loo 2 wet" and "flush", are one of the company's most recognisable trademarks.
“Throughout our years of business we have proved that we are not only recession-proof, but pandemic-proof,” Mr Mullins said.
“To say that we have had our best year yet during a pandemic might sound odd, but it’s true.
“We had £50 million turnover and we can improve on that by taking more of the market share and recruiting and growing the workforce.
“The more time people spent at home remote working last year, the more things went wrong with their plumbing and we were on hand to provide a service."
The next few months would paint a clearer picture of the future, but if an investor does come forward, Mr Mullins said Dubai would be the first overseas destination he would look to "bring Pimlico into".
Speaking to The National earlier this year, Mr Mullins said he had been eyeing up the idea of setting up a Pimlico Plumbers outlet in Dubai for years.
He is looking to bring British-trained and qualified plumbers to the city but claimed that he would “not charge London prices”.