Castle View Ventures sees profit increased with multi-million biotech business gain

Slough Arena
Slough Arena

An uplift to £9.1m in the investment value of its stake in NuCana plc, the NASDAQ-quoted Edinburgh-headquartered business whose ProTide technology transforms some of the most widely prescribed chemotherapy treatments into more effective and safer medicines, has increased the annual pre-tax profits of Castle View Ventures, (CVV) the Bridge of Allan-based business with interests in sports centre management, food production, catering software and weight management.

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Martin Bell, Group Managing Director of Castle View Ventures, said: “We are delighted to see the financial fruits of our 2009 investment of £450k in NuCana plc, a ground-breaking Scottish biotechnology company operating successfully in a vital area of healthcare.

“The gain on re-valuation recorded in our accounts is, of course, unrealised and is based upon the value of the company’s shares at the end of our financial year.”

Turnover for the year to 31 March 2018 at CVV was £195.6m compared to £175.66m in the previous year. Operating profit was down from £10.2m to £8.87m due to the additional costs associated with “mobilising” new contracts and challenging conditions surrounding two major new London sports management contracts.

At the pre-tax level, however, the accounting rule change which requires gains on revaluation of fixed asset investments to be shown in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income, resulted in an increase to £18.13m from £13.25m.

As in previous years, the bulk of CVV’s sales and profits came from its subsidiary, Sports & Leisure Management (SLM), a Leicester-headquartered business which manages sports and leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities in England and Wales.

In the year to March 2018 SLM won new contracts with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Slough Borough Council, Warwick District Council, Bracknell Forest Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council, taking the total number of leisure facilities it manages to 170. In the current year, a further five English councils, so far, have entrusted their sporting and leisure facilities to be managed by SLM.

Mr Bell said: “The addition of new contracts for SLM, together with increased throughput in existing centres has resulted in a 12.6 per cent increase in turnover in the year of £177m, however, mobilisation costs of new contracts have resulted in a slight decline in its pre-tax profit to £9.8m.

“The success of SLM is underpinned by a focus on the quality of service delivery, and once again this has been recognised by industry bodies, not least Swim England, which named the group “Swimming Pool Opertator of the Year” for the aixth successive year.”

At Cambuslang-based UIN Foods, a total of £5.6m was invested in  a state of the art bakery facility which incorporates an inline travelling stonebake oven. Turnover rose to £13.73m from £11.7m but the disruptive effect on productivity of the new investment led to a loss of £276k compared to  pretax profit lasr year of £447k.

The group’s catering software business, Inhouse Manager, which provides a comprehensive catering management systems which includes allergen reporting, nutritional analysis and meal ordering modules and helps reduce administration and waste.

In a challenging year for both private and public sector institutional catering cntract wins, sales in the year fell from £3.3m to £2.28m and pretax profits were £104k compared to £236k in the previous year.

The newest part of the group, Everyone Health, formerly knowns as the Weight Management Centre, specialises in the delivery of obesity and weight management education and intervention programmes. Here, an increase in staff to meet an anticipated rise in demand led to a slight fall in turnover to £2.8m from £3.08m and a pretax loss of £449k compared to profits last year of £567k.

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