Utilitywise continues to drive profits as acquisitions prompt organisational split

Energy management firm Utilitywise reported a 76% increase in pre-tax profits in the year to the end of July 2014

Geoff Thompson, chief executive of Utilitywise
Geoff Thompson, chief executive of Utilitywise

Energy management specialists Utilitywise are ramping up recruitment as pre-tax profits soared by 76% following recent acquisitions.

The firm’s chief executive, Geoff Thompson, told The Journal he is hungry to capture further market share in the UK and in Europe, where there is still opportunity for Utilitywise.

Accounts for the South Shields-based firm showed pre-tax profits before exceptional items rose to £13.05m in 2014 from £7.4m the year previously.

Utilitywise is poised to expand into larger premises on North Tyneside and an increase in the number of consultants it employs, to 363, led a 62% increase in revenue growth.

Over the next two years the AIM-listed firm, which counts Ibstock Brick and Costa Coffee among its clients, intends to grow headcount to 1,400 to surpass its current customer base of 20,826.

Recruitment is currently under way for energy consultants and customer care managers, amongst other roles, starting in late October. Between 20 and 40 energy consultants are expected to join the firm’s growing ranks each month.

Chairman Richard Feigen explained that two years of acquisitions and growth had prompted a reorganisation of the business into two divisions - Enterprise and Corporate - dealing with SME and larger corporate customers respectively.

Mr Thompson said: “I am very pleased to report on another year of significant growth for the group, demonstrating the momentum we have established as a result of both organic growth and the successful integration of our recent acquisitions.

“Our continued strong performance is evidence of the strength of our proposition, the hard work of our people and most importantly the value we add to our customers. We enter the new financial year with a very healthy level of contracted revenue as well as a strong pipeline and, as a result, the Board remains confident in the Group’s continued success.”

He added: “All of our KPIs are pointing in the right direction. We’ve had strong growth across revenue and maintained strong gross margins.

“We’re concentrated on maintaining a relevant and cost effective service for our customers, and our success here is demonstrated by the high renewal rates. Across the Enterprise division customer renewal is as high as 85%, and in the Corporate division that proportion is north of 95%.

“Our aim now is to grow market share. We’ve driven a great performance so far, but our market share is actually quite low and there is still significant room for expansion.”

Mr Thompson also confirmed the business remained acquisitive, following a string of buy-ups over the last two years which have fed the corporate division.

The latest report showed the division generated revenues of £8.6m from 860 customers and 19,258 smart meters.

During the year to July 31, 2014, prominent North East investor Jeremy Middleton joined the board along with financial expert Jon Kempster.

Utilitywise’s model involves selling businesses energy and water management services which promise to find the best price for their needs.

They offer various products and services designed to help businesses get value from their energy and water contracts while reducing their carbon footprints.

To find out more about the relocation and job opportunities available at Utilitywise, please visit the website at www.utilitywise.com/careers .

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