Soaring energy prices boost FTSE AIM All-Share consultancy Inspired sales as businesses attempt to slash bills
- Revenue at the Preston-based business climbed by 31% to £88.8m in 2022
- Inspired’s optimisation services segment provided the bulk of sales growth
Turnover at consultancy Inspired shot up last year as firms sought to minimise their energy bills, which soared in the wake of the Ukraine war and the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions.
Revenue climbed by 31 per cent year-on-year to £88.8million in 2022, with all four of the company’s divisions achieving expansion.
The group’s optimisation services segment, which offers water conservation, energy efficiency and forensic audits, provided the overwhelming bulk of growth as its sales jumped by almost two-thirds to £47.7million.
Results: Turnover at Inspired shot up last year as firms sought to minimise their energy bills following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions
Energy markets underwent unprecedented turbulence last year amid skyrocketing gas and electricity prices caused by the escalating Ukraine conflict and a resurgence in energy use after economies reopened.
Prices were also elevated by the UK having low gas storage capacity levels, a long winter in 2020/21, lower-than-expected wind and solar power generation two years ago, and higher gas demand from Asia and South America.
Inspired said the ‘new normal’ resulting from the present crisis had led to stronger interest in its products and services, including from multiple prominent British retailers.
Its assurance services division, which helps negotiate energy contracts on behalf of clients, won new business from the likes of Naked Wines and Aldi, meal-kit seller Hello Fresh and motor dealership chain Arnold Clark.
But the sales performance failed to prevent the Preston-based company from swinging to a £3.6million loss, having made a £1.6million profit the previous year.
The firm said trading had begun 2023 with ‘considerable momentum’ and is optimistic about achieving annual results in line with forecasts despite continued economic and political unpredictability.
Chief executive Mark Dickinson said: ‘Whilst mindful of the current backdrop, the long-term opportunities for the group are clear, and we have entered FY23 in a robust position, building on momentum from the prior year.
‘We have a substantial addressable market, high profile clients, and a record new business pipeline, underpinning the board’s confidence in the long-term growth and success of the group.’
Founded in 2000, Inspired issues energy advisory and sustainability services to more than 3,500 companies across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2011.
Robin Speakman, a research analyst at broker Shore Capital said: ‘The performance achieved overall is against what has perhaps been the most challenging environment seen in UK energy markets.
‘A testament then to Inspired’s strategy and deepening client relationships as a key partner to UK corporates.’
Inspired shares were 1.6 per cent lower at 10.1p on mid-Wednesday afternoon. In the past 12 months, their value has fallen by approximately 36 per cent.
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