Plusnet sees sales rise in tough market

Plusnet's Andy Baker. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1008/01g
Plusnet's Andy Baker. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1008/01g
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PHONE and broadband provider Plusnet has achieved a large rise in full year turnover, as it keeps a tight grip on costs and grows its fibre customer base.

Plusnet, which is one of the fastest growing internet service providers in the UK, said it aims to stay ahead of the competition by offering a “great price and great customer experience”.

The company, which employs more than 1,000 staff in Yorkshire, has continued to invest in marketing to increase its brand awareness.

In May, Plusnet launched its first TV product over the YouView platform.

“The company will continue to deliver this proposition and use this broader product portfolio to enhance its customer offering,’’ Plusnet said in a statement to accompany its accounts.

It has also launched a Webchat facility to allow multi-channel contact with customers.

In the year ended March 31 2015, it achieved turnover of £226.8m, compared with £178.9m the year before. The profit on ordinary activities before taxation was £37.2m. compared with £25.2m in the previous year. Plusnet, which already employs around 850 staff at its Sheffield headquarters, established a base in Leeds in late 2013.

The Leeds office now employs around 250 staff. Earlier this year, Andy Baker the company’s chief executive, confirmed that Plusnet had room to hire another 200 people in Leeds, as it moves closer to its target of securing one million customers.

Roland Barzegar, Plusnet’s finance director, said: “In terms of our financial performance, the growth in our customer base is the big driver. At the same time, we run a tight cost base. We’re a value brand. One of our core values is being savvy with money.

“We always have to be making sure that we are innovating and providing new propositions for customers so, for example, we launched Plusnet safeguard which is our parental controls package..

“Launching new products and services allows us to then bring in new customers.

“We don’t have plans to expand out of Leeds and Sheffield,’’ he said. “The skills base within the business is strong and we’re an active recruiter. We will see turnover growth this year.

“We don’t have trouble getting people through the door,’’ he added. “The brand is growing so people recognise Plusnet and they recognise we are a technology business as well, it makes us an interesting company to work for, and we’re not shy about the fact we’re a young business with a great culture, which makes people want to work for us.”

Last month, entertainment group Sky revealed that it was creating a world-class technology facility in Leeds.

The company said it would help to create a hub in the city that will prevent the cream of technology moving South to look for work.

Mr Barzegar said Sky’s announcement would help to bring skilled workers to the region.

He added: “Actually, competition is a good thing, it means you get the right level of person..but they are also challenging you to be a good employer.”