Homeserve has left problems in past says boss

Caitlin Morrison
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HOMESERVE boss Richard Harpin cited retailer Next as an inspiration for the company’s turnaround, and said that the repairs business had put its previously regulatory problems “firmly in the past”.

The company reported revenue of £584.2m for the year ended 31 March, up from £568.3m, while profit before tax climbed from £24.4m to £76.7m.

While revenue in its UK business dipped by one per cent in the 2015 financial year, the US business saw sales jump by 13 per cent, from £110.9m to £125.3m, following a £12m increase in investment in the country last year.

Homeserve is targeting increased growth in the US in future, and chief executive Harpin said: “The USA continues to be our most significant opportunity.”

Homeserve hit headlines in 2014 after being slapped with a £30.6m fine by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), its largest-ever retail fine, over mis-selling issues.

However, the company said yesterday that activities relating to the regulator’s investigation are now complete.

And Harpin, who founded the business in 1993, said the group was ready to make big changes.

“I’m a great believer that you can take the experience of growing a business over the first two decades, then create step change in the third,” he said. “A good example of that is Next, they are seeing big changes now they’re in their third decade.”

Shares in Homeserve were up by 2.98 per cent yesterday.