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Homeserve profits up 18 per cent

Emergency call out and repair insurer Homeserve has seen profits before tax grow by 18 per cent to £71.8 million over the past year.

Its final results for the year ending March 31 showed revenue had increased by 16 per cent to £555m compared to the previous year while operating margins also went up to 16.4 per cent.

The company now has 5,200 employees including 1,200 directly employed engineers.

Retention rates dropped slightly to 85 per cent, but chairman Brian Whitty said the company was well placed to grow in the UK and within the US and Spain.

He said: “Homeserve remains focused on delivering sustainable growth through the economic cycle and is ideally positioned to make selective investments in the UK and internationally.

'Whilst we are carefully monitoring the potential impacts of the current economic climate, our policy businesses continue to show resilience through stable take-up rates from our direct marketing and retention rates remaining high. Overall Homeserve is well positioned for future growth.”

The number of policies in the UK has grown by 9.8 per cent to 6.6m and the number of contracts covering plumbing, drains and water supply increased by 6.7 per cent to 4.2m. Contracts overing gas and gas supply pipes grew by 8.3 per cent to 607,000, but electrical contracts fell by 1.7 per cent to 753,000.

Richard Harpin, chief executive, said: “During the year, the business achieved new utility policy sales of 1.6m for the third consecutive year with retention rates remaining high at 85 per cent.

'On average our customers now hold more than two policies each following the launch of combined policies in the year. The integration of our utility branded and warranties businesses is consistent with our goal of providing whole home assistance cover.”