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Gloucestershire Business News

Mears looks at profit after improved second half

Mears Group has said it expects to make a profit by the end of the year after a loss for the first six months as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

The Gloucester-based housing solutions provider made a loss of £5.8million for the first half of the year, but a trading update posted today predicted a "small before" before tax.

And it is expecting total revenue of around £825million for the full year to December 31 after reporting revenue of £407million in the first half of the year.

The company said cash performance has been strong in the second half with the average daily net debt for the five months to November down from £121million in the first half to £88million.

Chief executive David Miles said: "In common with most businesses, 2020 has been a challenging year for the Group, but one the company and particularly its employees have risen to with great fortitude.

"Despite the challenges, we have continued to provide the highest levels of service, plus made excellent progress on our strategic priorities."

He continued: "We exit the year as a singularly focused housing specialist and trusted partner to local and central government, bringing innovative solutions to help tackle many of the deep-rooted issues within the UK's social and affordable housing sectors.

"With a portfolio of high-quality contracts focused on our core housing services and the Group's strengthened balance sheet, we look to the future with confidence."

Work volumes in social housing maintenance contracts rose from 25 per cent in June to 79 per cent in October with last month's lockdown in England having little impact and the company expects the volume to remain at that level until spring.

The second half of the year saw the company complete it programme of strategic refocusing with the sale of its Scottish Care business for £2.5million in September while the disposal of planning services provider TerraQuest for £72million is due to be completed soon.

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