Vaping firm Supreme to join London stock market

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Manchester-based Supreme is set to become the first vaping company to list its shares on the London stock market.

The company, which makes vaping liquid for e-cigarettes, plans to list its shares on AIM, a junior market on the London Stock Exchange.

Surpreme, which also sells batteries and lighting products, hopes to raise around £10m to invest in the business.

The company is led by chief executive Sandy Chadha, 49, whose father set up the business in 1975.

Mr Chadha said that Supreme, which also sells e-cigarette hardware, diversified into the vaping market just four years ago and owns the KIk and Vape88 brands.

However, he now expects that 60% of the company’s profit will come from the vaping division.

Supreme reported £6.9m pre-tax profit for year to March 2017 up from £6m in the previous 12 months. Sales rose to £71m from £59m in the previous year.

Favourite flavours

Mr Chadha – who is not a smoker of cigarettes or their electronic cousins – said that the most popular flavour of vaping liquid is menthol.

“Hobbyists” – less regular smokers – prefer flavours such as apple crumble and toffee sauce.

However, Public Health Wales had called for a ban on confectionary-like flavours in e-cigarettes over concerns they appeal to children.

It said it could potentially lead to nicotine addiction in adult life.

The Welsh Government had also tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes in some enclosed places, including schools and hospitals, fearing vaping would “re-normalise smoking”.

In contrast, Public Health England wants e-cigarettes to be available on the NHS because of independent research suggesting that at least 20,000 people a year are quitting with the help of e-cigarettes.

According to Action on Smoking and Health, there are some 2.9 million e-cigarettes users in the UK, up from 700,000 in 2012.

That compares around 8.9 million cigarette smokers.

Mr Chadha, who plans to sell down his shareholding in Supreme to between 55-60%, said that some of the proceeds from the flotation would be used to build a new factory.

Its current facility in Manchester, which was set up in 2016, produces 130,000 bottles of vaping liquid a day.