Hay & Robertson, owner of the Admiral and Mountain Equipment sports and lifestyle brands, plans to separate its brand business into a newly formed company, International Brand Licensing.

The move, and new name, reflects that fact that licensing income from both brands has increased to the extent that the Brand Business now represents a distinct standalone business unit. Hay & Robertson reported a 61 per cent increase in licensing income from the Brand Business in the year to 31 Dec 2001, and says sales for the current year are expected to grow "significantly".

The directors expect development of the Admiral and Mountain Equipment brands to continue, and have identified a number of opportunities to build the portfolio of brands.

The group will also remain the licensee for Kangol branded apparel in the UK and Europe and for certain Admiral products in the UK.

It also said its Sportsetail unit has reached an exclusive agreement with Manchester United Plc for an initial three-year term to fulfil sales arising from the official direct mail catalogue.