Mears prepares for second half return to normal levels for maintenance work

Housing maintenance contractor Mears is preparing to return the last remaining furloughed maintenance staff to work by the end of next work in anticipation of work returning to normal levels at the end of the year.

Mears prepares for second half return to normal levels for maintenance work

The company furloughed more than 2,000 employees, reducing this to around 1,600 at the end of June and 980 by the end of July.

This morning it said maintenance work volumes at the end of July had returned to 42% of normal levels, with a recovery in activity levels expected during the second half of the year.

For the six months ended June 30 Mears made a pre-tax loss of £11.5 million on revenue down 7% to £407.0m (2019: £439.2m). For the same period in 2019 it made a pre-tax profit of £25.2m.

Most of the reported group loss was down to finance costs and development business losses during the crisis, with the operating loss at housing maintenance partly offset by an increase in management revenues and the new Home Office asylum accommodation and support contract (AASC), which started in September 2019.

The COVID-19 crisis has also delayed the tendering process in maintenance activities, although Mears’ win rate on tenders that are going ahead is more than 80%, with £120m of new contracts secured in the first six months of 2020.

David Miles, chief executive officer, said: “Inevitably, the COVID-19 crisis has impacted short-term financial performance in these results, particularly as maintenance contract volumes reduced to emergency-only to protect the safety of staff and service users alike.

“Activity levels are returning to normal, and I am very confident as to the financial stability and the long-term wellbeing of the group. The group has taken positive and considered actions during the COVID-19 period to ensure that the group is stronger than ever and well positioned once the UK sees a return towards normality.”

Share icon
Share this article: