Castle View revenues climb higher after sport and leisure contract wins

Castle View Ventures (CVV), the Bridge of Allan-based business with interests in multiple sectors, has boosted annual turnover after its flagship leisure division secured a string of new local authority contracts.

The group has been named 'Swimming Pool Operator of the Year' for the seventh successive year. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The group has been named 'Swimming Pool Operator of the Year' for the seventh successive year. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The group reported a 16.6 per cent revenue rise to £240.15 million in the year to March, driven principally by a series of business wins at its wholly owned subsidiary Sports & Leisure Management (SLM).

Operating profits climbed from £8.87m to £10.19m as the group’s gross profit margin increased by just over 1 per cent to 35.6 per cent.

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However pre-tax earnings almost halved, dropping to £10.26m from £18.13m last year, as the 2018 figure was boosted by a change in accounting rules to include the unrealised gains on revaluation of NuCana, a Scottish Nasdaq-quoted biotech firm in which CVV purchased a stake in 2009. The investment was reassessed to be valued at £9.1m last year.

From left: Castle View board of directors David Bibby, Martin Bell and Mark Drysdale. Picture: David Spink

CVV’s interests also span sports centre management, weight management, catering software and food production.

Its Cambuslang-based UIN Foods business returned to profit, recording annual earnings of £23,000 compared to losses of £276,000 in 2018.

Turnover dropped by £2.3m to £10.9m, however, due to the removal of a loss-making product line.

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New business boost

Continuing from previous years, the majority of the group’s sales and profits came from SLM, a Leicester-headquartered business which manages around 200 sports and leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities in England and Wales.

SLM won new work with six councils while its recently launched public health business Everyone Health inked new contracts with two, a trend which has continued into the current year, with a further five English councils signing up.

Martin Bell, group managing director of CVV, praised a strong year for SLM. He said: “The addition of these new contracts, together with increased throughput in existing centres has resulted in a 19.5 per cent increase in turnover in the year of £227m, and, together with a focus on improving the effectiveness of operational procedures, has delivered a 30 per cent increase in profit before tax to £12.1m.”

He added that the group had been named “Swimming Pool Operator of the Year” by Swim England for the seventh successive year.

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Everyone Health enjoyed a rise in turnover after being boosted by a combination of new contract wins and a transfer of public health deals from other parts of the group which saw sales jump to £8.2m from £2.8m.

The arm posted pre-tax profits of £1.4m, compared to losses of £449,000 in the previous year.