Investment sparks higher loss at Brookfield Rose

BROOKFIELD Rose, the holding company for more than a dozen businesses owned by Cheshire entrepreneur Matthew Sanders, has reported a sharp increase in losses.

While revenues rose 17% to £619.3m – driven by a strong year at de Poel – Sanders’ technology-focused recruitment optimisation business – losses rose from £497,000 to £3.3m.

The group said its investment in new businesses in 2014 was the reason for the higher losses. Shareholders’ funds fell from £7m in 2013 to £3.8m.

“The group’s core de Poel UK business has performed in line with the directors’ expectation for the year, but improvenments in newer businesses have been slower than expected.

“The directors forecast that the general level of activity will continue to increase in the core de Poel UK business, and that some of the newer businesses will generate profits in 2015.”

Stripping out depreciation, amortisation and expceptional items, operating profits came in at £891,000, down from £4.7m.  

In a statement Sanders said: “Our core business, de Poel, and its sister companies de Poel One Source, de Poel health+care, de Poel Community and de Poel Education continue to be the mainstay of the Brookfield Rose group.

“Last year, de Poel achieved growth in terms of staff, client base, operations, productivity, as well as developing  our regional and international expansion at a level which is exceptional in our sector.

“Alongside these established businesses, in 2014 we acquired social enterprise, Slivers-of-Time. Now known as de Poel Community, this has enriched our service offering enabling us to not only procure temporary labour for our clients, but also provide them with high quality volunteers from an untapped talent pool.

 “Under the Brookfield Rose banner, we also launched a short-term loan business last year, known as Different Money. Built on the foundations of openness and honesty, it operates as a short-term alternative to a high street
bank or payday lender.

“In the future, we plan to expand de Poel’s international presence even further and build on the success we have already had with de Poel Nederland, now known as de Poel Continental Europe.”

The group has recently taken further office space in Knutsford and now employs 250 people. Sanders has set a target of growing revenues to £1bn by 2017.