Tunstall reshapes business after ‘challenging’ year

Paul Stobart, the CEO of Tunstall
Paul Stobart, the CEO of Tunstall
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TELEHEALTHCARE COMPANY Tunstall today revealed it had faced a “challenging year” in the UK as Government austerity measures led to contract delays.

However, the Yorkshire-based company, which allows patients to monitor their health from the comfort of their homes, plans to grow its manufacturing facilities, after securing more investment from its institutional shareholders. Tunstall also enjoyed success in the French market, where it secured three major managed services contracts, and its staff numbers increased from 2,912 to 2,950 over the financial year.

Tunstall’s systems save lives by raising the alarm if a patient’s health deteriorates. It also saves money by reducing the number of hospital visits. The group’s telecare systems allow 24-hour monitoring of patients. They include fall detectors, bed and chair occupancy sensors, panic alarms, property exit sensors and movement detectors.

In the year ended September 30 2014, the group achieved revenues of £215m, compared with £221m the year before. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation depreciation and amortisation) were £43.0m, which was less than the £52.7m recorded in 2013. While revenues were up by 6.8 per cent in the Nordics, Southern Europe, Central Europe, and Australasia, the group’s UK and US markets faced more challenging conditions.

Tunstall, which is based in Whitley Bridge, near Selby, reported a “highly competitive UK trading environment”, particularly in the assisted living and service sector.

The group’s managed services business area also saw lower volumes than anticipated. In the US, a combination of operational challenges and the loss of a major telehealth contract with Alere, led to an overall reduction in revenue. Alere bought its own telehealth operation in the US, which meant it no longer needed Tunstall’s services.

Paul Stobart, Tunstall’s chief executive, who joined the group in November 2013, said austerity measures had led to delayed contracts and cuts in funding.

He added: “There is no doubt that 2014 has been a challenging year. We have repositioned and reshaped the business this year.”