Education provider Keys Care reports drop in sales as losses widen

Keys Care offers a range of education programmes, specialist residential services and professional consultancy and training
Gary McDonald Business Editor

RESIDENTIAL care and children's education provider Keys Care Ltd in Belfast has reported a drop in its turnover in a tough last trading year.

The company, previously known as BetterCare Key, offers rehabilitation support services such as therapy, fostering, education and training and development to children and young people in Britain and Ireland.

According to financials filed at Companies House covering the year to March 31, sales at Keys Care slipped back 4 per cent from £9,658,000 to £9,230,000.

But savings were made in expenditure which resulted in gross losses decreasing from £3,675,000 in 2017 to £2,531,000 this year.

However, exceptional costs incurred which meant that the operating loss widened almost tenfold from £341,000 to £3,123,000.

The one-off exceptional cost totalling more than £3.7 million was attributed to a restructuring and rationalisation of the new group structure.

Current liabilities

The company also showed current liabilities of £32.7 million, but says it has received assurances from its parent undertakingKeys Group Ltd (formerly Kestrel Topco Ltd) that is won't be required to pay that sum until sufficient funds are available.

Keys Care started life in 1994 when it was incorporated in Belfast and was known as Annvale Ltd before changing its name to BetterCare Keys Ltd in April 2006 and subsequently taking on its current name in February this year.

The number of people employed by the group over the year was 331, made up of 193 care staff, 48 teachers and 90 administrative staff. Its total wages bill was a shade over £11 million.

During the trading year there were seven directors listed at the company, and they were paid a combined £869,000.

But five of them resigned between July and December last year. David Manson and Patricia Lee were appointed and are the only two directors currently running the company.

Keys Care offers individual education programmes, outdoor education and vocational training, attachment therapy, and fostering services; therapeutic services for the people with early trauma, abuse, and separation; placement breakdown; and specialist residential services in the areas of substance abuse, offending behaviours, eating disorders, sexual exploitation, sexually harmful behaviours, emotional difficulties, and respite and planned breaks.

It also provides professional consultancy and training services for residential teams, parents, and other professionals in the fields of leaving care, children looked after, and child protection.

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