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Mears Group says profit up 13 percent, sees no Brexit impact

(Reuters) - British housing and social care provider, Mears Group (MERG.L), reported a 13 percent increase in full-year profit and said it saw no significant impact from Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The company, which scaled back some "unsustainable" care contracts last year, said on Tuesday there was significant momentum building for both housing and care policy in the UK this year, after the issues took a backseat following the referendum vote.

It said its order book stood at 3.1 billion pounds at the end of 2016, down from a record 3.5 billion reported at the end of 2015.

Pretax profit from continuing activities grew to 29.4 million pounds ($36.3 million) in the year ended Dec. 31, from 25.9 million pounds a year earlier, it added.

"We have positioned ourselves to provide a broader service offering in housing to a market where we are seeing an increasing blurring of the boundaries between social, affordable and private rented housing," Chief Executive David Miles said.

Although support services have weathered the initial impact of the Brexit vote better than feared, uncertainty is causing public and private clients to delay awarding new contracts, depressing the outlook for some types of outsourcing services.

Earlier this year, peer Mitie (MTO.L) struck a deal to sell its home healthcare unit, exiting a sector where the UK government has cut spending over the past four years, causing firms to struggle with low-margin contracts.



(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)