Norse’s £40m vision to boost Norfolk services
13:29 25 July 2014
The boss of Norse Group wants to capitalise on a record year for the business by injecting £40m into Norfolk services.
Mike Britch has outlined his spending ambitious to build more affordable houses; create a new care home in King’s Lynn; build a care village in Bowthorpe; and put the finishing touches to the Costessey recycling plant’s £8m expansion.
The bold plans follow a set of strong financial results for the EDP Top100 company, which saw a 7pc growth in revenue from £231.5m to £248.4m to January 31 2014, while pre-tax profits rose from £4.6m to £6.8m over the same period.
It comes as the company edged closer towards taking over the services of a local authority outside East Anglia in a deal that will add “substantially” to the group’s turnover and profitability.
But Mr Britch warned that the group faced political hurdles that could affect its performance next year, as the public gears up for the next general election and Norfolk County Council – the group’s majority shareholder – moves to elect a new chief executive.
“In terms of trading, it has been our best ever year, which is good news considering the difficult environment we are operating in,” he said.
“Things have improved over the last six to nine months and we see that continuing in the long term.
“The government’s austerity programme continues to generate new opportunities for local authority access, which will continue as the public sector comes to terms with the cuts.
“We have opened our new dementia unit in Gorleston – Lydia Eva Court – which is one of a series of developments as part of a £40m capital investment in Norfolk.”
Despite the strengthening performance, the company was also having to “share the pain” of the councils it currently works with because of demands from the government to find further savings.
He added: “We are having to find different ways to deliver the services in the existing arrangements, and we must not take those for granted because they are under intense pressure.”
Elsewhere in the company, Norse Care Group increased its turnover from £33m to £33.5m, while Norse Property Consultants Group grew from £79.4m to £88.7m.
Mr Britch said this year’s strong performance had helped persuade the banks to finance its future projects.
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