Utilitywise share price buzzes on double-digit turnover and 97 per cent cut to net debt

Francesca Washtell
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Utilitywise is a consulting firm for commercial bodies (Source: Getty)

Shares in utility cost management consultancy Utilitywise rose this morning after the company posted double-digit revenue growth and announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

The figures

Revenue at the group rose 22 per cent to £84.4m in the year to 31 July, up from £69.1m in 2015.

Profit before tax grew by seven per cent to £17.8m, while the consultancy firm's dividend rose 30 per cent to 6.5p.

Read more: Sales spike for Utilitywise and new role for Thompson

An improved cash flow at Utilitywise, which offers commercial customers advice about how to procure gas and power more efficiently, alleviated 97 per cent of its debt over the year, slashing net debt from £6.7m to £0.2m.

UK and Ireland-based customer numbers increased 23 per cent to 32,000, while international customer numbers increased 49 per cent to 6,500.

Shares in Utilitywise were up two per cent to 130p in late morning trading.

Utilitywise Utilitywise | mobile image

Why it's interesting

Utilitywise executive chairman Geoff Thompson told City A.M. the firm is "increasingly deploying technology" to help its customers, across both the corporate sphere and small to medium-enterprise landscape, reduce their spend.

Read more: Utilitywise sales rise 93 per cent

These tech innovations include a dash board called WiseLife, available to SME customers, in which business owners can control lighting, heating and air conditioning at their company from their smartphone or iPad.

The group's range of products and services across controls, technology and energy reduction make it "very different to mainstream direct competitors", Thompson added. Yesterday, the group announced a new partnership with Big Four supermarket Asda, though the company also works with NHS trusts, universities and big corporations.

Read more: Fidelity analysts back consumer and tech sectors

In a separate announcement today, Utilitywise also announced the appointment of Richard Laker as chief financial officer, a second executive board appointment this month after Brendan Flattery joined the group as chief executive on 3 October. John Kempster, former CFO, has stepped down to "pursue other career opportunities".

What Utilitywise said

Thompson said:

The strength of the procurement offering has provided a great foundation to make significant investment in our wider energy services capabilities allowing the group access to significant growth opportunities going forward.

This period of investment has positioned us very well for strong and sustainable growth with our broadened and differentiated offering.

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