Strong growth in turnover for HomeServe but pre-tax profits down

Home repairs group HomeServe saw strong growth in turnover for its latest financial year.

HomeServe chief executive Richard Harpin
HomeServe chief executive Richard Harpin

The Walsall-based business expects this to accelerate further in the current year.

For the 12 months to the end of March revenue was up 15 per cent to £1.3 billion. Membership worldwide rose one per cent to 8.4 million.

Pre-tax profits however were down 66 per cent from £137.9 million to £47.2m after HomeServe made the decision to write off its UK customer relationship management system at a cost of £84.8m, and move to a more flexible cloud-based solution which has been proven elsewhere in the group.

In North America the group saw revenue rise 22 per cent to US $665.8m.

In the UK Checkatrade saw market-leading gains in consumer demand with a 23 per cent increase in web visits to 29 million and an 11 per cent increase in paying trades to 44,000.

The board proposes a final dividend of 19.8p to take the total dividend for the year to 26p, up 10per cent, supported by business resilience, cash generation and strong future growth potential.

Richard Harpin, founder and chief executive, said: "In the last year, our homes have become more important to us than ever and demand for our services continued to grow.

"Our North American membership business was the stand out performer, growing customers to 4.7m, increasing policy retention by two percentage points to 85 per cent and now covering 66m utility partner households. In Home Experts, we are making excellent progress in matching consumers with trades, online and on demand, with our Directory Extra model.

"We see demand for high quality tradespeople continuing to grow, as more and more people seek to make their homes better and greener. We are well set up for continued strong growth."

This year HomeServe expects to see strong growth in its North American business, with the Home Experts division expected to reach profitability.

HomeServe has 2,500 office-based staff and 800 engineers in the field around the country and has nearly two million UK customers.

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