Utilitywise looking to tap into water sector

AN energy consultancy is targeting fresh gains as the collapse of a water “monopoly” unlocks new opportunities, its boss has revealed.

AN energy consultancy is targeting fresh gains as the collapse of a water “monopoly” unlocks new opportunities, its boss has revealed.

Brendan Flattery says Utilitywise is ideally placed to benefit from deregulation in the water sector
and take a slice of a 1.2 million customer market.

Changes to the industry mean businesses in England are no longer tied to existing suppliers and can look beyond regional services with greater freedom to find a better deal. Mr Flattery said the alteration means Utilitywise, which already helps organisations manage water bills, as well as gas and electric tariffs, can make further progress. He told The Northern Echo: “The monopoly has gone and that brings a competitive landscape, which is good, and it adds another string to our bow.

“There are 1.2 million companies in England who can change their supplier. “It’s a little bit like gas; a company can be in Northumberland but they don’t have to use a supplier from Northumberland.
“It’s about building strong relationships with customers and making their lives easier.” Mr Flattery, chief executive, was speaking after Utilitywise, based in North Tyneside, yesterday revealed its latest results for the six months to January 31.

According to the figures, the business, which has worked with customers such as frozen food retailer Iceland and doughnut maker Krispy Kreme on energy arrangements, saw revenues rise 11 per cent on a year ago to £46.1m. Adjusted pre-tax profit was four per cent better off at £9.4m, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization stable at £9.7m, despite a £6m loss as the business recognised “an impairment loss of £13.4m against its investment in T-Mac Technologies”. Utilitywise bought T-Mac, known for software allowing clients to
monitor and reduce their energy consumption, in 2015. Mr Flattery said its progress was driven in part by a 17 per cent rise in total group customers to 40,855, adding future secured revenue increased 13 per cent to £28m. Its enterprise division, which serves small and medium-sized
businesses, saw its closing order book shift higher to £28m, while Mr Flattery added the company had made significant progress with its SmartDash and Wiselife Connect software, which help customers view gas, power and water use and remotely control electrical devices, respectively.
Mr Flattery added: “We are really pleased with what we have delivered.
“We have done a massive amount of stakeholder engagement and enter the period ahead with confidence.”

The company also yesterday revealed Geoff Thompson, founder and executive chairman, has taken on the role of non-executive chairman with immediate effect.
Mr Thompson said: “We are still only really scratching the surface. I have every confidence in the ability of Brendan and the rest of the management team to successfully guide the business through its next phase of growth.”

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