Thursday, January 30, 2014
Norse Group boss Mike Britch said the business is looking to bid for more NHS and national government contracts as part of a strategy to ‘rebalance’ itself and lessen its dependence on local authority work.
The EDP Top 100 firm, a wholly-owned offshoot of Norfolk County Council, enjoyed a 144pc rise in pre-tax profits in the first six months of 2012/13 rising to £6.117m while turnover was £134m.
Highlights included a new 10 year £9.2m joint venture with Medway Council in Kent, and a £6m joint venture with Newport City Council in South Wales.
Norse Group enjoys a record year of growth
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Mr Britch also singled out NorseCare, its care services provider as a ‘star performer’ for the group, while he said the group’s success was a 50/50 split between acquisition and organic growth.
However, the group’s latest financial statements also note that with cuts in local government spending likely to continue the “principal risk and uncertainty facing the group was that the bulk of its revenue is with local authorities”.
Mr Britch said: “Despite very difficult trading conditions we have improved both turnover and profitability. That’s partly because we have needed to take decisions in terms of the amount of resource we carry and how we deliver services.
“I still think there is a long way to go. There are quite a lot of areas where local authorities haven’t even thought about these things yet.
“Our long term ambition is to rebalance our work so that we are not so dependent on local authority markets.”
He said Norse was looking at the health sector and national government as a potential source of future contracts, and he also insisted that the group was able to meet its pension liabilities and that by having such a broad portfolio of clients and services risks to the overall stability of the group were minimalised.
He added: “We responded to the challenges in the public sector and reduced our margins by restructuring our teams, and finding smarter and more efficient ways of working.
“The challenges and reduced budgets look set to continue but nonetheless we are confident that this changing landscape will continue to offer further opportunities for growth, and we will continue to bring huge benefits to Norfolk’s economy.”
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