Jeremy Middleton and Jon Kempster join the board at Utilitywise

Cost management consultancy Utilitywise has announced the appointment of Jeremy Middleton, CBE and Jon Kempster to the board

Jeremy Middleton CBE
Jeremy Middleton CBE

Energy Utility cost management consultancy Utilitywise has appointed one of the North East’s most high profile investors to its board after posting huge rises in profits and revenues in its first year on AIM.

The South Shields-based firm, which employs 471 staff, has seen pre-tax profits soar by 81% for the year ended July 31 2013, from £3.8m to £6.9m, and revenues also rose from £14.4m to £24.8m, a leap of 73%.

Like-for-like revenue was also up 61%, a figure the company said had been driven by its increased headcount in energy consultants at its head office, from 181 to 281.

The results come as the company announce the appointments to the board of Jeremy Middleton CBE and Jon Kempster as non-executive directors.

Middleton co-founded HomeServe plc, now a FTSE 250 company, and his Middleton Enterprises investment firm owns minority stakes in a number of SMEs, while Kempster has held a number of PLC finance roles, most recently as group finance director of Wincanton plc, the UK and Ireland logistics and distribution group.

Chairman Richard Feigen said: “We welcome Jeremy and Jon to the board, both of whom bring to the company a unique set of skills and expertise.”

The group’s full year results also chart how three acquisitions were made during the period – Clouds Environmental Consultancy Ltd, Aqua Veritas Consulting Ltd and Energy Information Centre Ltd (EIC) – all of which bring different products and services, expertise and market reach, and chief executive Geoff Thompson said the company remains on the acquisition trail, now targeting businesses to further extend its offerings.

The firm, which now has 15,333 customers, had £16.6m of secured contracts waiting to go live as of July 31, and £18.2m as of September 30, in a year which saw it acquire around 2% of the market share, and Thompson said the firm is capable of capturing much more.

He said: “We are delighted by these figures and they reflect the efforts and hard work of all our employees and we are excited by the company’s future.

“As we have made acquisitions we’ve wanted them to complement and extend our offering, so our intention now would be to target and search for targets that extend the demand side of our business.

“Looking ahead, analysts have upgraded the forecast for the next financial year to suggested revenues of £42m, and there is even an estimate for 2015 which suggest they could grow to £53m, and looking at those numbers really underscores that there is no ceiling on this.

“There are 3.5m commercial meters in the UK and we have 67,000 of them, so 2% of the market share, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t target 10% or beyond.

“As well as delivering very strong organic growth we have been able to invest and build for the future.

“The market in which we operate remains highly fragmented and we have still attracted only a very small percentage of our addressable market.

“Through our strong relationships with energy supply companies and our ability to identify customers and deliver the optimum solutions, we remain confident in the continued success of the company.”

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