Danieli Holdings keen to create jobs through new healthcare firm

The Newcastle group sold domiciliary business Careline Homecare in 2011, but now has ambitious plans after returning to the sector

Left to right: Christopher Dixon of Allied Irish Bank (GB), Mark Dobbin of Sintons, Steve Howe and Neill Winch of Phoenix and Mark Robinson and Andrew Love of Allied Irish Bank
Left to right: Christopher Dixon of Allied Irish Bank (GB), Mark Dobbin of Sintons, Steve Howe and Neill Winch of Phoenix and Mark Robinson and Andrew Love of Allied Irish Bank

Danieli Holdings has returned to a specialist healthcare sector by forming new firm Homecare Plus as part of plans to create scores of North East jobs.

The Newcastle-based group’s latest division already employs 40 people but has ambitious plans to grow further, bringing in turnover of up to £6m by its third year in business.

The move marks a return to the provision of domiciliary care which the group exited almost four years ago.

In April 2011, city law firm Hay & Kilner acted for Danieli Holdings on the sale of subsidiary business Careline Homecare, which was acquired by national care provider City & County Healthcare Group for an undisclosed sum.

Danieli chief executive Neill Winch said: “Homecare Plus has just started and it’s a business we are really driving forward.

“Hay and Kilner acted for us four years ago when we sold Careline and it was the largest provider of domiciliary care in the North East at the time.

“When we sold that business we couldn’t go back to that sector for three years. Now we are gearing up to push that very quickly.

“We won a tender with Newcastle City Council and the NHS. All of the professionals we worked with before, we are using those contacts and our reputation to get back into the sector and it’s proving very successful.

“Homecare Plus has only been going 14 weeks but we have 40 employees already.

“When we sold Careline it had 350 employees, and in two years time our new domiciliary provider will be as big as that if not bigger. We’re going to give it a good go.

“Why go back to the sector? We loved that business. I started it back in 1998, had it for 14 years before it was sold and it was a great business and very rewarding – you can really give something back to the elderly and those with a disability.

“It’s a sector we feel we are very good at and it’s actually very similar to our Phoenix Security division, as both provide labour to give a good service.”

The creation of Homecare Plus comes after the end of the firm’s financial year, April 2014, which is covered in latest accounts.

Those accounts show turnover rose from £9.9m to £10.7m, while operating profit rose from £526,634 to £866,265.

Since the year end, however, much has changed at the firm and revenues are set to rise significantly.

The group secured a multi-million pound refinancing package from Allied Irish Bank (GB) to drive forward growth plans for its Phoenix Security division.

New offices will open this year in Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London, raising both turnover and employee numbers, which currently stand at 1,200 people, by as much as 50%.

Mr Winch predicts Homecare Plus to accrue revenues of £1m in its first year, which will grow to £5m to £6m by year three, while Phoenix is expected to post turnover of £10.3m for the year ended April 2015, jumping to £11.1m in 2016, a rise on the £9.42m posted in most recently published accounts.

Meanwhile, the firm has recently also sold the assets of Student Accommodation UK Ltd – notably Barker House in Shieldfield which is leased to Newcastle University – to a private investor, and Mr Winch said the firm’s main focus is now firmly fixed on the healthcare and security divisions.

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