New faces on board as Spark hits record turnover of £159m

Kevin Lyons, right, joins Chris Gauld as Spark looks to a brighter futureKevin Lyons, right, joins Chris Gauld as Spark looks to a brighter future
Kevin Lyons, right, joins Chris Gauld as Spark looks to a brighter future
Fast-expanding Borders firm Spark Energy has reported a record turnover of £159m for last year, up almost a quarter on the year before.

The Selkirk-based company, the UK’s leading multi-utility provider for home-movers has also announced the appointment of two new bosses, Kevin Lyon as chairman and Marco Ferrara as a director.

Company chief executive Chris Gauld said: “Kevin is a vastly experienced company chairman and non-executive director, and we’re delighted to have him on board here at Spark.

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“He’s held positions with many leading public and private companies at various stages of their growth and so brings a wealth of experience to help guide the business through its next phase.

“We’re ambitious about our plans for growth, and Kevin’s input will be invaluable to the team at Spark as we deliver products and services for home-movers.”

Kevin, formerly Scottish managing director for private equity group 3i, said: “I’m delighted to be joining Chris and the team at Spark at an exciting time in the company’s growth.

“With solid foundations in energy supply and the acquisition of Home Telecom, Spark is well positioned to improve the home move experience with value-add products and services for everyone in that complex chain.

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“It’s a challenging and competitive market, and by offering more than just energy, Spark has a huge opportunity ahead of it, and I’m looking forward to helping Chris and the rest of the leadership team build on what they have achieved to date.”

Welcoming a 23% surge in turnover for the year to the end of last June, and a rise in gross profit from £30m to £37m, Chris added: “It’s been another big year for the company, with growth right across the business, constant improvement of our operations and service and the launch of our multi-utility future through the acquisition of Home Telecom.

“We’ve added Sky TV packages and invested in digital solutions for our current and future customers.

“I’m delighted with the 34% increase in customer numbers and to see turnover reaching £159m at our first year end since bringing in strong institutional backers.

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“It’s well reported that it’s a difficult environment for some challenger companies, but we are in a really strong position.

“On the energy side of the business, we’ve extended our hedging and wholesale trading agreement for a further five years, meaning our customers can have confidence that they’re protected against wholesale price volatility, and as a business, we are well protected from the challenges facing some of the smaller suppliers at the moment.

“Since the year end, we’ve also successfully transitioned from small to mid-sized supplier in the UK market, contributing over £3m to government schemes aimed at reducing fuel poverty and improving energy inefficiency.

“I’m also incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved at the Spark Academy welcoming over 125 new colleagues and delivering 23,000 hours of training and personal development, underlining our commitment to hiring, developing and nurturing the best talent in order to provide the best service to our customers.

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“We now employ 424 dedicated people at our offices in the Borders, Edinburgh and Home Telecom in Horsham.

“The current financial year has started really strongly, and we’re ahead of plan with continued record customer growth, the signing of a number of exciting new partnerships and investment in new products and services that complement our core energy and telephony offer.

“ We’ve strengthened the management team with hires right across our operations and, at leadership level, we’re excited to welcome new director Marco Ferrara, who is delivering our digital home mover platform.

“Marco’s extensive experience in developing, and bringing to market, tech platforms is a huge asset at a time when we are committing over £1m into simplifying, digitising and improving the experience of setting up energy, broadband and other essential utilities for home movers.”

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Spark, founded in Edinburgh in 2007 but based at Selkirk’s Ettrick Riverside Business Centre since the year after, is the only multi-utility provider in the UK specialising in catering for home-movers, and it now has 410,000 customers nationwide.

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