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Darwen meter firm Bglobal back in the black
DARWEN smart metering firm Bglobal is back in the black, despite a £10.5m fall in revenue due to fewer meter installations.
The firm, which employs 150 people in Commercial Road, announced that sales had fallen from £28.9m to £18.4m in the year to March 31, while pre-tax profits had moved from a 2011 loss of £721,000 to a profit of £590,000.
Group chief executive Tim Jackson-Smith said “significant” cost savings had been made with 50 redundancies in November, meaning a 2011 operating loss of £650,000 was boosted to a profit of £635,000.
The overall profits for the year were £1.12m, following a £559,000 tax rebate, compared to a £1.4m post-tax loss in 2011.
Mr Jackson-Smith said: “It’s a terrific achievement considering trading conditions in the metering industry and with the state of the economy as a whole.
“We have had to look at our costs base, and made redundancies because of a drop in the volume of sales, due to confusion and delays over metering by the government.
“Now that we know that a mass roll-out will begin in 2019 and we don’t anticipate having to make any more job cuts, the business is in the shape it needs to be.”
In the past 12 months, the group, which includes software firm Utiligroup and Bsmart Energy Solutions, aimed at energy use reduction, has struck up a residential metering deal with Npower, and gross margins in the year had leapt from 45 to 60 per cent.
Mr Jackson-Smith said: “There are no plans immediately for more jobs, but we might need to increase the back office capacity if we win the contracts we are confident of winning.”
He felt that concerns about Big Brother-style spying were “overplayed”, but that the security of metering data was “very important”, and the company was working towards achieving the ISO 27001 security benchmark.