Mears mulls expansion after a record first half

BRITISH social housing and home care provider Mears reported a seven per cent rise in first-half pre-tax profit and said it was well-placed to expand in its core markets.

Mears, which services hundreds of thousands of local authority and housing association homes and has a rapidly growing care-in-the-home business, made a pre-tax profit of £14.1m in the first six months of 2011 on revenues up 16 per cent to £292.6m. Its record interim results included an order book of £2.7bn.

Mears said that in its social housing division its pipeline stood at over £3bn, with £1.7bn of new contract opportunities available in the next 12 months.

The firm, which has won over £300m worth of new contracts since March, said it had 97 per cent revenue visibility for the current year and was nearing 85 per cent for 2012.

Shares in Mears closed 6.3 per cent up yesterday at 276.75p.