Optimism for the New Year as Northern Bear Celebrates Ten Years

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Optimism for the New Year as Northern Bear Celebrates Ten Years

As Northern Bear celebrates its first 10 years serving the North’s building industries, it is supporting St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle and recently presented a cheque for £10,000 to the charity.

Pictured (l to r): Danielle Callender, St Oswald’s Hospice community fundraiser; Nicola Wealleans, auxiliary nurse; Keith Soulsby, Northern Bear Group operations director; Steven Roberts, Northern Bear Group executive chairman; Lianne Davidson, Northern Bear Group senior accounts Manager: Wendy Edgell, Northern Bear Group, company secretary.


Despite heavy winters, unprecedented gales and flooding and the worst recession in the building services sector in living memory, Northern Bear plc greeted the tenth anniversary of its flotation on AIM this week with optimism for the future.

Northern Bear is a group of specialist building services firms that provide roofing, materials handling, and other specialist services to the public sector and construction industry in Northern England.  The subsidiary companies - which operate autonomously - were founded, on average, 30 years ago. 

Northern Bear has bucked construction trends, restructuring operations during the last recession to turn profitability into cash and reduce bank debt from a peak of circa £11m to below £3m.

In the year to 31 March 2016, the Group maintained operating profits on the previous year and recently announced interim results to September 2016 show operating profits of £1.24m, up from £1.08m in the same period last year.

The Executive Board, consisting of Steve Roberts (Chairman), Graham Jennings (Managing Director), Keith Soulsby (Operations Director) and Tom Hayes (Finance Director) attribute trading results to the strength of the subsidiary management teams and the loyal workforce.

In the past year, the Group’s companies won prestigious contracts across the North such as Acklam Hall (Middlesbrough), Alnwick Castle (Northumberland), Haworth Parish Church, The Literary and Philosophical Society (Newcastle), Hexham Bus Station (Northumberland), St George’s Quarter (Huddersfield)  and Souter Lighthouse (Sunderland).

Graham Jennings said “We have a fantastic workforce that has supported the Group through some difficult times. We are delighted that we have now been able to start rewarding both them and our shareholders for their loyalty.”

“Northern Bear reinstated a dividend policy in 2014 and its share price has risen from 8.5p to 49p over the past five years.

“Now well positioned to grow organically and looking to make bolt-on acquisitions, the Group’s

policies of recruiting and training workers through its apprenticeship scheme and pro-actively seeking to develop a strong and reliable supplier network are now paying dividends as the volume of work increases.

“The order book remains strong and we look forward to the future with optimism.”

There are currently 12 Northern Bear plc companies operating as autonomous businesses:-

A1 Industrial Trucks Limited sells, leases, rents and maintains a fleet of approximately 400 forklift trucks

Chirmarn Limited collects, removes, treats and disposes of asbestos in accordance with current HSE asbestos regulations.

Chirmarn (Surveying) Limited offers an independent, accredited asbestos surveying service

Isoler Limited supplies and fixes passive fire protection, fire stopping and acoustic insulation

Jennings Roofing Limited provides roof slating, tiling, felting and general roof repairs, refurbishment and maintenance, including large, public sector contracts

Matthew Charlton Slaters is the heritage division of Wensley Roofing. It undertakes work on cathedrals and notable public building.

MGM Limited is a building contractor specialising in restoration and refurbishment contracts

Northern Bear Building Services Limited is a building contractor specialising in responsive and reactive maintenance, extensions, new build and refurbishment work

Northern Bear Safety Limited is a consultancy dedicated to providing clients with health, safety and environmental support

Springs Roofing Limited provides roof slating, tiling, felting and general roof repairs, refurbishment and maintenance for local authorities, housing associations and major house builders.

Survey Drones specialises in building surveys and roofing inspections using unmanned aerial imagery

Wensley Roofing Limited offers roof slating, tiling, felting and specialist leadwork for housing associations, major house builders and heritage renovation.


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