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Mears grows order book by £1.2bn in 2012

Housing repair and maintenance firm Mears saw its order book rise by £1.2billion in 2012 and won a third of all social contracts bid during the year, it said in a trading statement today.

The firm reported “solid trading” in its two core divisions of social housing and care and a work pipeline worth over £3bn. Mears has 88 per cent visbility of its predicted 2013 revenues.

But Mears said its non-core mechanical and engineering business is expected to report a loss for 2012 after experiencing tough trading conditions, especially in the fourth quarter.

The firm’s order book rose from £2.6bn to £3.8bn, following the acquisition of Morrison Facilities Services in November and social housing contract wins worth £380m.

Morrison is currently loss-making, although Mears said it is “confident in the returns this business will generate” after completing restructuring which is currently underway.

Mears chief executive David Miles said 2012 has been a “transformational year” for the firm, and is “very encouraged” by progress integrating Morrison into operations.

“I believe that the opportunities currently available within the Social Housing sector are stronger today than at any time since I joined the Group seventeen years ago,” he added.

“We will continue to be at the forefront of change in the sector in 2013. Whilst I am disappointed that we have not completed any acquisitions in care in 2012, I am encouraged at the high value now being placed on comparable care assets.”

Results for the year endin 31 December 2012 willbe announced on 19 March.

Social housing awards:

During 2012 Mears won 32 per cent of social housing contracts bid, worth £380m in total, including:

United Welsh

A strategic partnership with United Welsh for an initial eight years with an option to extend for a further seven years, valued at up to £145 million over 15 years. Includes a wide range of services to the housing stock and estates covering 11 local authority regions in Wales. Contract due to commence in April 2013.

Richmond Housing Partnership

Providing responsive repairs, gas repairs and servicing, voids repairs and planned maintenance services to about 8,700 properties. Valued at £80m and due to start in April 2013.

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