Novus Celebrates Fifth Birthday with Record Results

  29 AUGUST, 2018
Novus Celebrates Fifth Birthday with Record Results

Novus has marked its fifth birthday by announcing sales of £148.6m in 2017 (2016: £130.3m) following four consecutive years’ growth in revenues and profits.

For the first time, the Stoke-headquartered contractor has been recognised in the annual Sunday Times Top Track 250 league table (206th) for having achieved some of the biggest sales among privately-owned mid-market growth companies in the UK.

The business, which traces its origins to the founding of Seddon more than 120 years ago, was formed in 2013 after the Seddon Group restructured into two independent businesses – Novus and Seddon.

In the first year, Novus achieved sales of £96.9m and recorded profit before tax of £2.3m. In 2017, the business achieved sales of £148.6M and profit before tax of £5.4m.

The company, which employs 1,000 people nationally, is entirely financed by its own cashflow, with no bank debt. In 2016, £1.5m was invested into a new modern headquarters building in Stoke-on-Trent.

Novus Locations

Novus operates from 30 locations across the UK with revenues coming from the refurbishment and maintenance of buildings for housing associations, local authorities, the NHS and the hotel, leisure and grocery retail sectors, as well as construction and new build projects across the Midlands and North West of England.

Chief Executive Neil Hand’s View

Commenting on the figures, Chief Executive Neil Hand said: “We’re delighted to have achieved industry-leading organic growth in every year since we became an independent business. And being recognised as one of the stand-out performers among privately-owned British companies is the icing on our fifth birthday cake. 

“Central to the way we do things is a risk governed, measured and controlled approach to managing our finances. This gives us the flexibility to take long-term decisions that are in the best interests of our employees and clients.

“Part of this includes a commitment to paying our suppliers according to their terms and, critically, on time. We’re very proud of our record and it’s why we have a loyal supply chain built on long-term relationships. 

“Like every business in our sector, cost inflation is a significant headwind. Our procurement team continues to do excellent work in managing our materials supply contracts and we always police our working capital closely. This means that we can maintain our financial independence, allowing us to run our business according to our values.”

Neil continued: “There are signs of a slowdown in construction and we remain mindful of this, even if maintenance continues to be an area where demand is fairly robust. We believe growth is achievable again this year but the strength of our financial position means we don’t need to pursue it at all costs.

“Our focus is on nurturing our existing relationships through a partnership-led approach to working with clients. We find that customers and suppliers return to us because of trust and an understanding that we will work together to solve problems.   

“To ensure we have the right platform in place for another five years of success, we’re making significant investments in the business, particularly in two key areas: people and technology.  Both are crucial to our continuing evolution and ensuring we remain at the leading edge of innovation in the sector. We’re very excited by the potential of enhancing our IT infrastructure to make life easier for our people and clients.

“Regionally, we are also investing in senior talent to join our Scottish business as we anticipate further growth in that market this year.

“We’re proud at how our business has developed as an independent entity under the Novus brand since the Seddon Group restructured. I joined the business as a 15-year old apprentice and 37 years later I lead a fantastic team of people working towards the same vision - being the best contractor to work with and the best contractor to work for.”

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A newly-refurbished community hub in Livingston has reopened following the end of a £20,000 charity competition held by contractor Novus.   Refurbishment and Redecoration Works Works at the Riverside Community Wing, which is predominantly used by the West Lothian Youth Action Project, include replacing the kitchen, refurbishing its foyer and IT suite and a complete redecoration. It will offer training workshops, summer activities and music projects in the building, as well as mentoring to vulnerable youngsters and distributing surplus food to people in the community. The project has been completed in just two weeks by Novus’ workforce in Scotland in partnership with its suppliers, which include Howdens, Travis Perkins, Dulux and West Cross Carpets.   Novus Big Five Initiative The West Lothian Youth Action Project provides support and advice to young people aged between 10 and 21. It was chosen as part of Novus’ ‘Big Five’ initiative to mark its fifth birthday, where the firm has spent £20,000 each on individual projects across the UK.   Client Feedback Barbara Boertien, Community Engagement Officer at Almond Housing Assocation, who nominated the wing for the refurbishment, said: “The Riverside Community Wing has served Livingston for 50 years but needed a repair to help it continue to benefit the community in the future. “We’re really pleased with the finished project and grateful to everyone at Novus for their hard work.”   Charlie Cooley, strategic operations manager at Novus in Scotland, said: “The West Lothian Youth Action Project is a fantastic initiative that helps young people realise their full potential. It’s been a pleasure to transform the building into a place that will be used by the community for years to come.” Novus worked alongside its suppliers McMaster’s Electrical, West Cross Carpets, GPE Environmental, Dulux, Howdens, Travis Perkins, Howard Jessop Blinds, Aramark Defence Services and Parker Signs to deliver the project.