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East Anglian facilities giant Servest positive for 2017 as revenues soar

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 March 2017

Servest chief executive Rob Legge. Picture: Gregg Brown.

Servest chief executive Rob Legge. Picture: Gregg Brown.

Services giant Servest is anticipating its strong growth to continue in 2017, after posting results which showed turnover soared by almost one-fifth last year.

Organic growth and the acquisition of Accuro Catering contributed to revenues rising to £284m in the year to September 30, 2016, up 18% from the previous year’s £240m.

And the Bury St Edmunds-based company is set to add to that this year, as two further purchases made last autumn feed into revenues, along with a more recent acquisition to strengthen its pest control business.

Servest, a member of the EDP/EADT Top100 list of Norfolk and Suffolk’s biggest companies by turnover, provides facilities management services across the UK and has ambitions to break into the top five in the sector, challenging the likes of G4S and Serco.

After stripping out acquisition costs and exceptional items, the company recorded a pre-tax loss of £457,000, down from a profit of £911,000 in 2015.

However, it pointed to adjusted earnings as its key performance measure, which showed a rise from £16.7m in 2015 to £18.3m in 2016.

A statement to the accounts, recently filed at Companies House, said the organic growth came from a clutch of “significant contract wins”, many of which started mid-year.

“As a result, we are anticipating a strong level of organic growth during 2017, due to the full-year impact from these contract wins, as well as new contracts won during 2017,” it said.

In October, Servest acquired £33m-turnover Catering Academy in Staffordshire to boost its educational catering offer, and Scottish contractor Arthur McKay, a £125m-turnover firm, to expand its building services footprint.

Last month, it added Dundee pest control firm Pro-Check, with chief executive Rob Legge saying the acquisition would improve its services for clients.

“The move forms a part of Servest’s growth strategy and will help develop our already successful pest control division. The acquisition marks an exciting start to the year as we continue to grow,” he added.

Servest, which is owned by a South African parent company, currently employs around 3,500 people across Norfolk and Suffolk, including more than 300 at its Bury St Edmunds head office.

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