Energy firm is pulling out of South Shields

ON THE MOVE ... the current Utilitywise base in South Shields.
ON THE MOVE ... the current Utilitywise base in South Shields.

A RAPIDLY-GROWING energy company has confirmed it is set to quit its South Tyneside base.

Utilitywise, which employs more than 400 people at Long Row, Market Dock, South Shields, is looking at two potential new sites in the North East as part of its ambitious growth plans.

The Gazette revealed in February that the company was looking for larger premises and now the firm has confirmed it is set to move on – but its new business base has so far not been revealed.

The news comes in the week the fast-growing energy consultancy announced it aims to double its revenues to £85m in 2016.

But the company has told the Gazette it plans to remain in the North East.

Utilitywise, which oversees energy and water meters for public and private sector companies, has recently seen turnover rise 105 per cent to £21m, while pre-tax profits also doubled to £4.05m from £1.99m in the six months to January 2014.

But the company, which moved into the former Garlands call centre at South Shields riverside several years ago, has almost outgrown its borough site.

Two new potential sites are being looked at, with a final decision on the preferred new location set to be made by the Utilitywise board later this year.

A company spokesman said: “Utilitywise continues to enjoy strong growth, driven by our outstanding proposition and delivered by our very talented team.

“A decision on the location of the new offices has not been made, but we will inform our employees once the details have been confirmed later this year. We’re proud to be one of the fastest-growing companies in the North East and as a major employer in the region, where we will remain.”

The company’s team of energy consultants has risen by 34 per cent to meet rising demand, bringing the current number to 347.

Utilitywise also plans to significantly increase customer service workers to retain more business in the future.

Company chief executive Geoff Thompson said: “Utilitywise has continued to make impressive progress, with improvement in all of our key metrics.

“With our current positive momentum, we now anticipate our performance for the full year will be slightly ahead of current market expectations. These results demonstrate the strength of our proposition, our continued ability to scale our business model and the important differentiation we have achieved through our ongoing development of our energy management products and services.

“Alongside the impressive organic growth achieved we have successfully created value through strategic acquisitions.

“We continue to investigate potential acquisitions to broaden our energy services and increase shareholder value.”

Utilitywise is pressing ahead with growth into Europe through the acquisition of Prague-based communication company ICON, which employs 150 people at a call centre in the Czech Republic.

South Tyneside Council declined to comment on the planned move by Utilitywise.

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