Group outlines its vision to grow into major firm
Norse Commercial Services
Regional facilities management group Norse has revealed ambitious growth plans to reach half a billion pounds in turnover.
Norse Group, which comprises Norse Care, Norse Commercial Services (NCS) and Norse Property Services (NPS), is hoping to streamline its business through technology and merging two of its divisions to help it compete amid tough conditions for the sector.
The group, which is forecasting turnover in the region of £313m for 2018/19, has put its business plan up to 2020 before shareholder Norfolk County Council as it enters a period of transition. In the 12 months the group is predicting it will return some £2.75m to the tax payer in dividends and rebates as well as a further £4.7m in savings.
Long-time managing director Mike Britch announced he was to step down earlier this year with Dean Wetteland, who had been leading NCS, taking over at the helm.
He is facing a “turbulent period” with pressure on the labour market, council budgets and increased costs from the apprenticeship levy, national insurance and minimum wage.
Mr Wetteland said the company, like its customers, would have to “cut its cloth accordingly” but the merger of NPS and NCS would help streamline the group – and make cost savings of £2m.
The industry has faced uncertain times with the fallout from the collapse of giant Carillion and shrinking public sector budgets.
Mr Wetteland said the demise of Carillion had led to more focus in the public sector on working with companies with the right values.
He said: “I think our public sector work will grow faster as we are now getting national coverage to grow the business.
“There are lots of opportunities out there and untapped opportunities, particularly in Scotland where there are 32 unitary councils. The merger really helps because it means we are able to offer multiple services across the board.”
Over the next three to five years the group said it was aiming to increase its share of the £26bn public sector services market, from 1.2% to 2%.
Norse said £1m had been set aside for training of its 9,200 staff, 60% of who are employed in Norfolk, with Mr Wetteland saying its people would be key to future successes.