Norse Group enjoys a record year of growth

Peter Hawes, managing director of Norse Commercial Services, speaking at the firm's 25th anniversary

Peter Hawes, managing director of Norse Commercial Services, speaking at the firm's 25th anniversary AGM - Credit: Archant

Bosses at Norse Group said the firm had achieved its best-ever profits totalling more than £2m in the last year.

Despite the tough economic climate that prevailed throughout the 2012/13 financial year, the EDP Top 100 company saw its annual turnover up 13pc to £128,145,000 with net profit after tax up to £2,669,000 – Norse's best ever performance.

Managing director Peter Hawes said the Norfolk-based firm compares favourably with its major national competitors both in terms of its increases in both turnover and profitability.

Norse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norfolk County Council. And with the firm committed to ploughing a dividend back into the council coffers, the results could prove a bonus for the cash-strapped local authority as it seeks to plug a £189m funding black hole. Speaking during the company's 25th anniversary annual general meeting, he said that this growth came from a diverse range of activities which are built upon the company's innovative business models, competitiveness, and industry-leading customer retention of 95pc.

Extensions to major contract have helped the company meet local authority budgetary requirements, and led to substantial increases in private sector work.

'Norse is one of the most financially stable, sustainable and rapidly growing businesses in the facilities management sector,' he said. 'The company has a forward order book of almost £2bn and has over 8,200 customers across its growing portfolio of joint venture companies, along with public and private sector contracts.

'I'm delighted once again with these results – it's been another great year for Norse, with industry-leading growth, and increased profits, our best year yet.'

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Norse manages a fleet of 1,400 vehicles, spends £6.1m on wages every month – thereby feeding substantial funding through to local economies - and £58.9m with suppliers providing vital income to local and national supply chains.

Some of the challenges facing Norse over the coming 12 months, he said, included increasingly competitive bidding for contracts, continuing economic pressures and the threat of further reductions in public sector spending.

However he was up-beat saying that the breadth and depth of Norse's skills base, combined with the sound financial results, excellent reputation and proven experience in operating successfully in diverse markets, meant the company was in a strong position to continue its sustainable growth.

Norse Commercial Services is part of the Norse Group, which also comprises property consultancy NPS Group and care and residential homes provider NorseCare.