Top Female Entrepreneurs 2018

4 Maxine Horne

Company

Vita Group

Revenue

$674.6 million

Maxine Horne started Vita Group, which was then known as Fone Zone, in 1995 as a single phone retailer.

Over the next nine years the company opened 100 stores, before listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2005 and eventually rebranding to Vita Group.

Since 2009, the company has operated as a master franchisor for Telstra stores, opening its 100th Telstra site in 2014. And the relationship with Telstra looks set to continue; in Vita Group’s 2017 annual report, the company told shareholders it had secured an agreement with Telstra to keep operating as master franchisor until 2023 and beyond.

In 2017, revenues from the company’s operations increased four percent compared with the year prior, to $674.6 million.

In the company’s 2017 annual report, Horne also revealed Vita Group is building momentum with the introduction of a men’s athleisure brand, SQD Athletica, which launched in late 2016.

After extensive market research, Vita Group identified a gap in the market that is distinctly under-valued and not catered to,” the company said of its decision to diversify into men’s wear.

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