Bullitt is booming as demand for tough smartphones soars

Britain’s only remaining mobile phone manufacturer is enjoying a boom in revenue, bolstered by a growing demand for ‘rugged mobiles’. Reading-based Bullitt Group has seen year-on-year revenue increase of 36 per cent, largely buoyed by sales of its JCB and CAT brands.

Marketed as ‘durable mobiles’, the phones are resitant to water, dirt and everyday damage. They have traditionally been popular amoung builders and tradesmen but appear to be attracting the attention of a wider audience. Bullitt reported revenues of $134.7m (£100.6m) up from $98.9m in the previous 12 months. Pre-tax losses declined from $4.3m to $1.5m. And things are set to online get better with CCS insight suggesting that demand for durable smartphones is set to increase by a further 25 per cent in the next 12 months.

But the company is not content on resting on its laurels. Seeking new niche areas in which to grow, Bullitt released a Kodak-branded device with a high-powered camera last year. The company has also tied up a deal with Land Rover to create an adventure-focused smartphone due to hit the shelves next year.

Peter Stephens, its chief executive, said the company would continue to looks for niches in the smartphone market that the likes of Apple and Samsung are not serving. “Business has picked up further this year and we are targeting 60 per cent sale growth in 2017,” Stephens said.

Bullitt unveiled two refreshed Cat phones at the start of the month. The Cat S31 and Cat S41 lack some of the higher-end features found on the S60 — so much for that thermal imaging camera — but they offer the same durability at lower price tags.

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