Revenues rise at Gloucester housing services company, but profits fall

Mears Group

Housing services company Mears Group saw revenues rise 13 per cent last year, but profits dropped eight per cent, the company has reported.

Headquartered in Gloucester, the group employs around 7,500 people across the UK, maintaining and repairing hundreds of homes in rural villages to large city estates. The company also provides accommodation and support for the most vulnerable.

Mears reported revenues for the year of £982 million, an increase of 13 per cent, driven by the acquisition of MPS Housing and revenue from its Asylum Accommodation and Support contract.

While profit on continuing activities increased to £37 million, when including the results from discontinued operations (including its UK domiciliary care business), the Group reported a statutory loss of £66 million.

David Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Mears, said:I am pleased with the progress of the Group in 2019. We have achieved a solid set of results in a year of political and economic uncertainty, along with delivering a significant repositioning of the business into a more simplified structure as the UK’s leading provider of housing solutions.”

For many years Mears was a major provider of domiciliary care services to the public sector, but with the sector severely structurally underfunded, the Group has been exiting its domiciliary care activities and the business in England and Wales was sold in January 2020. It intends to exit its Scottish domiciliary care business when circumstances permit.

David continued: “2020 has brought challenges that were unforeseeable only a few weeks ago. Mears is committed to maintaining services to its clients and customers, sustaining its high level of employee skills, motivation and experience and being prudent in respect of cash management. The Board will continue to navigate the current difficult circumstances with a concerted focus on short term operational and financial management but also with a determination to preserve sufficient resource with the requisite expertise for the Company to prosper in the medium term when more normal economic conditions return.”

Mears Group Chairman, Keiran Murphy, said: “The UK today is unimaginably different from the conditions which prevailed throughout 2019. The degree and speed with which normal activity can return remains very unclear.

“For Mears, the ‘lockdown’ introduced by the Government some weeks ago has required us to react in a number of ways. We have had detailed discussions with all of our customers about the basis on which we can continue to work and deliver a service to them. While some of our activities have continued at pre-Covid levels, in others, especially our regular maintenance work, we have agreed with customers to defer much work and undertake only an emergency service.  In due course, we would expect to agree a path back towards normal levels of service.”

“Once this crisis has passed, there will need to be a major programme of economic restructuring and recovery. Mears is determined that, working closely with our customers, we will be able to play a full and effective part in supporting the communities which we serve across the country.”