Mears forecasts return to profit after £15m loss last year

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

Housing maintenance contractor Mears is forecasting a return to strong profit this year after plunging into the red in 2020 because of Covid disruption.

Miles said Mears has a strong opportunity to grow from its strong base of 20% of the outsourced housing maintenance market
Miles said Mears has a strong opportunity to grow from its strong base of 20% of the outsourced housing maintenance market

The firm reported a pre-tax loss of £15m last year after group revenue slid 9% to £806m with maintenance-led revenues of down 19% to £537m.

Despite Covid restrictions, Mears continued to restructure the group to focus on housing activity, exiting standalone domiciliary care and selling its planning solutions business Terraquest.

These disposals improved net cash for the year-end to £57m and reduced average daily net debt from £114m to £97m.

David Miles, chief executive officer,  said: “Even with the potential post-Covid economic challenges, housing is a sector that will be invested in to support economic recovery and indeed to meet longer term challenges, such as those posed by climate change.

“There is clear opportunity to grow both our maintenance-led and management-led work and indeed we see an increasing number of opportunities that will integrate all of our services.

He added: “Today, Mears looks after more homes than any other organisation across local and increasingly Central Government.

“We have clear leadership in the maintenance market with 20% share of outsourced contracts and a long-standing reputation for service quality, technology, workforce management and social value.”

He added the board expected to see revenue remain stable at around £800m this year, returning a pre-tax profit of up to £25m.

Over last year Mears secure a three-year contract extension with Milton Keynes Council, which will see it continue to provide services, with an annual value of around £40m a year, until at least April 2024.

It was also confirmed as the preferred bidder by Cornwall Council, to be a strategic partner to deliver to the Council up to 750 new extra care units across the County over the next 7-10 years.

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