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Investment Fuels Positive Growth at Social Care Provider

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Turnover at Cardiff-headquartered social care provider Shaw healthcare has closed in on £100m, with the company taking on significant new contracts with a number of local authorities across the UK.

Shaw healthcare provides care for the elderly and for people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health problems across the UK, through a combination of specialist nursing, residential, supported living, domiciliary and day care services.

For the year to 31 March 2018, turnover grew to £94.4m, up from £93m 12 months earlier. During the year, Shaw Healthcare also received investment from private equity partner Bridges Evergreen Holdings, which specialises in investing in social care and employee-owned businesses. The company invested £10m comprising £0.8m of ordinary shares and £9.2m of preference shares. The investment completed in November 2017.

During its latest reporting period, Shaw has signed significant agreements to provide adult social care services for Liverpool, Poole and Dorset councils from 2019. The landmark agreement with Liverpool City Council is part of a 25-year, £30 million plan to create new living spaces and care hubs across the city, with work already underway at two sites in the Speke and Anfield districts of Liverpool.

In total, Shaw’s residential care schemes manage more than 2,100 beds in 51 different facilities. The group employs close to 3,500 employees and provides care to more than 3,000 individuals across the UK. The group recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Shaw Star Awards – an internal awards event that saw more than 200 staff gather at the Forest of Arden Hotel near Birmingham to recognise excellence across 10 individual and facility categories.

As with many social care providers, the latest increase in National Living Wage to £7.83 per hour in April 2018 resulted in a significant increase in staff costs, which the firm never anticipated fully recovering from its customers. However, a combination of efficiency savings within the business and the development of additional revenue streams through low-capital investments, enabled the group to return a normalised profit before tax of £3.5m.

Commenting on the latest financial results, Shaw’s chief executive, Jeremy Nixey, said:

“Improving staff retention, reducing numbers of agency personnel across all of our services and maximising occupancy levels within our residential schemes continue to be the group’s immediate priorities. It has been a very positive year for the group, especially in terms of public sector growth, and this has been underpinned by our partnership with Bridges Evergreen.

“The strong cash and asset position of the group has also enabled the board to recommend a final dividend payment of 0.25p per ordinary share for the year. This will be the first ever dividend payment made by the company and is testament to the dedication and hard work of our staff, many of whom are shareholders in the business and will directly benefit from this dividend.”

Shaw is unique as a major healthcare provider in being 88% owned by its employees and ex-employees, with a further 10 per cent share held by The Shaw Foundation, a grant-making charity.