Homeserve looks to US, Spain for further growth

May 21, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

LONDON: British repair and insurance company Homeserve plans to double the size of its US  sales force in its new financial year, after strong growth there and in Spain helped to lift annual revenues by four percent.

Homeserve, which sells cover for household emergencies such as boiler breakdowns and burst water pipes, said yesterday it had seen a marked increase in customer numbers in both markets, helping group revenues to £568.3m ($956.3m)for the year ended March.

CEO Richard Harpin, who founded the company more than 20 years ago, said he planned to expand the US business, where it provides repair and insurance services to 26 million of the 128 million households, by doubling the number of people looking for partnership opportunities with utility companies.

“We’ve made a decision that we need to be investing more business development people in the US, so we are doubling the size of the sales force from 10 to 20 people over the course of the year,” he said. He also plans to sign more partnerships with utility providers in the United States, having signed 12 last year, after profit there rose by 36 percent to 13 million pounds.

“We would hope that we are signing a similar sort of number of utilities over the coming 12 months ... but that will take time to come through,” he added.

The company said it had also seen strong growth in Spain, from its partnership with utility company Endesa, which had helped doubled customers numbers to 800,000 in the past year.

Group pretax profit fell to £84.1m from £105m, impacted by a £30.6m fine imposed by the UK’s financial regulator, after the company was found to have committed a series of failings including mis-selling policies in 2012.

It was expected to report a profit of between £82.78m and £84.74m, with an average estimate of £83.95m, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of seven analysts.