Belfast Telegraph

Mitie sees sales fall to £2.2bn amid council care budgets squeeze

Revenues at outsourcing group Mitie slipped as it came under pressure from cuts to healthcare budgets and uncertainty caused by next month's Brexit vote.

The FTSE 250 firm, whose clients include Rolls-Royce and the Home Office, said its sales fell 1.8% to £2.2 billion in the year to the end of March compared with a year ago, as local council care budgets have been squeezed by central government.

It also added that the Government's decision to hold the European Union poll on June 23 had caused "a number of our clients to either delay or cancel projects until after the referendum".

However, the group saw pre-tax profits more than double in the period to £96.8 million, after it was hit by £45.7 million of charges due to a number of management contracts it exited 12 months ago.

The group said sales at its healthcare unit, which looks after people in their own homes, fell 14.7% to £78 million, after the unit endured "a challenging year".

It added that the Government's introduction of the national living wage in April would also add to costs at the unit over the coming year.

The move lifts minimum hourly pay to £7.20 for over-25s, from its previous level of £6.50, and to at least £9 an hour by 2020.

Chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith said: "We continue to see a range of good outsourcing opportunities across our key markets and anticipate modest growth in the coming year. We remain positive about the group's prospects for the future."