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Mears on target to meet social housing forecasts

Social housing maintenance and repairs provider Mears says it anticipates a solid operating margin despite the winding down of the government’s Decent Homes programme.

In a market announcement today, the company said it has signed contracts virtually guaranteeing it will meet 100 per cent of revenue forecast by analysts for its social housing operations during the current year.

It added that, since the start of the year, it has started eight new social housing contracts that will incur additional costs during the intial period.

However, it said: “The overall strength of our social housing business means that despite these costs and the effect of the final wind-down of the Decent Homes works, we still anticipate a solid social housing operating margin.”

Overall, the company said its order book currently stands at £2.8 billion, with a bid pipeline in excess of £3.0 billion.

Mears chief executive David Miles said the group was also achieving strong margins in its operations within the care market.

But he voiced disappointment that a white paper addressing the funding of social care had been delayed from this session of Parliament.

He said: “It would appear that the challenge for the long term funding of care is unlikely to now be addressed in legislation before the back end of 2013.

“The political debate cannot be one of simply mindlessly reducing spend and ignoring new sources of funding, but rather one which seeks to deliver long term joined-up good value services to an increasingly important section of society.”

Mears added that it did not anticipate a significant profit from its mechanical and electrical operation, which made up just 4 per cent of the group’s 2011 profit, during 2012.

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