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North-east firm's results tonic

Fledgling construction brands group Northern Bear saw turnover rocket nearly 600 per cent last year after four acquisitions brought revenues up to £32 million.

The firm’s deals in the past 12 months have included Leeds contractor Jennings Roofing and Newcastle upon Tyne firm Chirmarn Surveying. In all, it owns 12 companies mainly in the North-east employing 500 people.

Northern Bear’s remit is to buy building services companies based in the north of England and the firm, which was launched in 2006, will next month switch from a building materials listing on the Stock Exchange to a support services rating.

In its maiden set of full year results for the year ending March, the company which is based at Chester-le-Street in County Durham, said pre-tax profit came in at £2.3 million, up from the £100,000 it posted in the first few months of trading.

The group said it is concentrating on picking up firms working in the social housing market and is reducing its reliance on the weakening new house building sector.

Northern Bear owns companies which carry out asbestos removal, plant hire and plumbing and gas fitting.

Chairman Jon Pither said 13 per cent of its current workload was from new housing which he expected to level off at around one fifth of revenue in years to come.