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Clarke Nicklin help to secure Lowri Beck £8m funding deal

Energy metering company Lowri Beck has secured an £8m finance package from Yorkshire Bank in Manchester to fund plans to expand its installation services.

The Wigan-based business reads gas and electricity meters on behalf of utility providers including Npower and EDF, installs new electricity meters and has a customer service call centre in the town.

The company posted a turnover of £24.1m in the year to December 31, 2010, up from £20.7m the previous year.

It has around 900 staff nationwide, including more than 200 in Wigan.

Chairman and managing director Bob Vernon said that the funding package, which is mainly a refinancing with some additional funding, will be used to expand its growing installations service, which currently makes up around 25 per cent of turnover.

Currently Lowri Beck only installs electricity meters, but plans to start installing gas meters in late 2011 or early 2012.

Mr Vernon said: "The electricity meter installation side of the business continues to grow quickly and we are now busy developing our processes and systems to be able to carry out other installation services too.

"Between 2014 and 2020 there will be approximately 20 million gas meters and 25 to 27 million electricity meters that will need replacing in the UK.

"This funding package will support our development of knowledge and people, ensuring we are well placed to maximize this growth opportunity."

Lowri Beck was established in 1996 and was bought out by Bob Vernon in 1999. In 2000 it was sold to German-based Viterra Energy Services before being bought out again by Bob Vernon in December 2002.

Mark Preston, partner at Yorkshire Bank's Manchester Financial Solutions Centre, said: "Lowri Beck is a solid performing business that is well positioned for growth with the requirement for new smart meter installations across the UK."

Lowri Beck was advised by Cheadle Accountants Clarke Nicklin on the deal.

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