Homeserve eyes cold snap boost

Homeserve eyes cold snap boost

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Homeserve has reported another half-year of strong growth and expects to benefit from the current cold snap

Homeserve has reported another half-year of strong growth and expects to benefit from the current cold snap, as it receives more calls to repair broken boilers and burst pipes.

The home maintenance and insurance firm is bracing itself for a boost in emergency call-outs caused by this week’s wintry weather, which is predicted to see temperatures drop below freezing in many parts of the UK.

Chief executive Richard Harpin said: “Cold winters are good for us – they prove to customers the benefits of signing up for our membership.

“It will also bring in more customers that are not members but ring up and say they have an emergency.”

The company currently signs up about 70% of non-members that call for emergency repairs to become policyholders for a year by offering a cut-price deal as part of the repair job.

Homeserve this year became the main sponsor of Premiership football team West Bromwich Albion and will benefit from having its emergency call-out number emblazoned on the front of the team’s shirt.

The company has reported a 19% increase in global sales to £171 million in the six months to 30 September, with adjusted pre-tax profits up 13% to £21.3 million. It is on target to grow its UK customer base by 3% or 4% in the current year.

Meanwhile, Mr Harpin has sold a third of his stake in the business. He will continue to hold about 12% of the shares, which he has pledged to keep for the next 12 months.

Mr Harpin said the cost of more call-outs did not increase costs at the business because it outsourced its policies to other insurance companies, which carry the risk.

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