Drop in recyclate income sees further Norse Waste losses

Norse Environmental Waste Services (NEWS) posted a loss of more than £1.4 million in the 2020/21 financial year, the third successive year of losses.

NEWS sells kerbside recyclable material on behalf of the seven councils in the Norfolk Waste Partnership

A spokesperson for the company put this down to a reduction in revenue gained from the sale of materials, but said the current hike in recyclate prices will “significantly improve” financial performance in 2021/22.

On a more positive note, the wider Norse Group made a profit of £1.1 million in 2020/21, according to its financial results posted on 23 December.

We are currently benefitting from a hike in recyclate prices

  • Norse Spokesperson

Future improvement

A spokesperson from Norse said: “The losses within the NEWS operation (part of the Norse Group) in 2020-21 were primarily due to a reduction in revenue gained from the sale of materials, caused by fluctuations in the domestic/global commodities markets.

“However, we are currently benefitting from a hike in recyclate prices, partly due to the ‘Covid effect,’ which will significantly improve the financial performance of the company in 2021-22.

“We continue to work collaboratively with the eight borough, city, county and district council partners involved in our core contract for the Norfolk Materials Recycling Facility to assess and mitigate, as best we can, these continuing market fluctuations.”

Financials

The £1.4 million loss follows a £429,198 loss in 2019/20, and a £2.8 million loss in 2018/19. The company made just under £4 million in profit in the previous two financial years.

Despite the loss in 2020/21, NEWS revenues grew to £18.3 million, up from £17.9 million the previous year.

The director’s report in the results said: “The company continues to face a challenging operating environment, particularly with regard to fluctuation commodity prices for recycled material.”

NEWS

Part of the local authority-owned Norse Group, NEWS sells recyclable material on behalf of the seven councils in the Norfolk Waste Partnership.

Kerbside collected material in Norfolk is sent to Norse’s MRF on the outskirts of Norwich.

The wider Norse Group provides more than £40 million a year’s worth of waste collection, management and recycling services around the Norfolk region through Norse Commercial Services.

In total, the joint venture operations collect more than 87,000 tonnes of residential residual waste in Norfolk, processing 71,000 tonnes of recyclable residential waste and a total of nearly 10,000 tonnes of mixed trade waste every year.

The wider Norse Group runs a number of “jointly owned operating companies”, which it says replace traditional client/contractor relationships.

This includes companies in Barnsley, Enfield, Newport and Devon, according to the Norse website.

Director

In November, the then chief executive of the Norse Group, Dean Wetteland, stepped down from his role for personal reasons.

Justin Galliford, chief operating officer, has taken on the role on an interim basis.

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