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An entrepreneur with Christian principles; Lord Edmiston.

Lord Bob Edmiston's IM Group was badly affected by the Japanese tsunami which played havoc with its vehicle import business. However, this has been more than offset by rising profits in the group's property arm.

Warwickshire-based IM Properties has recently been appointed to design a pounds 22 million logistics hub for vehicle giant BMW.

The prestige project - BMW's largest nonproduction facility - will be located near Munich and will be the biggest deal to date for IM Properties on mainland Europe.

Supply problems in Japan affected IM's automotive business, which imports Subaru and Isuzu vehicles. However, the group as a whole remains healthy with net assets of pounds 411.6 million.

In the year to December 31, 2010 IM's turnover rose by 14.2 per cent to pounds 401.6 million. After-tax profits dropped from pounds 23.2 million to pounds 16.5 million, largely due to a sharp rise in charitable donations including pounds 10 million to Lord Edmiston's charity Christian Vision.

Lord Edmiston - who was made a peer in 2010 - remains in the top 10 list of Britain's biggest philanthropists, having donated to religious, humanitarian and educational charities through Christian Vision. Since 1998 he has donated close to pounds 150 million to various causes.

He is also a significant donor to the Conservative party.

A former finance director at the failed Jensen Motors, Lord Edmiston used his pounds 6,000 redundancy pay to set up International Motors in 1974. He began as the world's only distributor for Jensen parts before acquiring the franchises for Subaru and Isuzu.

The business has secured pounds 150 million of bank funding to allow it to seek out prime retail estate opportunities. In January the company bought the Purley Way Retail Park in South London for pounds 21 million.

The company is also growing its presence in the United States retail development market, and targeting growth in residential development.

IM Properties recently re-located from Haseley Manor near Warwick to join the wider IM Group in Coleshill.

The group is housed on a purpose-built 200-acre site which is the headquarters of its global operations.

Sixty-five year-old Lord Edmiston is a committed and active Christian and began Christian Vision in 1988.

This charity - founded on biblical principles - has helped families and children around the globe, and has a presence in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Zambia, Mozambique, Australia, East Timor and Angola, among others.

In addition the former accountant has spent pounds 2 million of his own money towards the pounds 28 million re-build of Whitesmore School in Chelmsley Wood, renamed the Grace Academy to reflect his Christian beliefs.

Teaching is based on Christian principles, encouraging decency, respect and compassion.


Lord and Lady Edmiston
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 19, 2012
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