Citation featured in red tape debate

31 March 2011

 

Bosses at the Wilmslow-based company, who expect 2011 EBITDA to hit £4.5m on £15m turnover, believe that by 2014 these numbers can grow to £8.5m and £20m.

Expanding into new locations and offering existing clients new services are both on the agenda Citation said.

Chief Executive Lindsay Hill said the company’s growth was being driven by not only a rising tide of new rules and regulations from Europe, but also the more rigid, and in some cases “crazy” application of existing regulations by local authority procurement officials.

In one instance a taxi company was forced to meet health and safety rules designed to prevent accidents on construction sites just to be able to tender for council work.

“It’s not that the regulation is bad or not well thought out, it’s that it is being used in the wrong way,” Mr Hill said.

New regulations coming into force this autumn relating to the default retirement age being scrapped and to agency workers are driving customer numbers and call volumes to Citation’s 24-hour helpline.

Mr Hill, who began his career as regulatory lawyer with London firm Fox Williamson, says that despite pledges by successive governments to cut red tape and free small firms from regulatory burden, there is little they can do to stem the tide of new rules from Brussels.

“The reality is the regulatory framework is forever being enlarged and the majority of it is coming from Europe.”

Citation has around 210 staff.

As well as the Wilmslow base, which opened in 2009 after a relocation from nearby Knutsford, the firm has bases in Cardiff and Glasgow.

As well as small businesses Citation’s broad client base includes many independent dentists, doctors and vets’ practices, while another strength is in the care homes and education sectors.

It serves around 6,500 clients and is growing at a rate of around 100 per month, finance director Julie Moran said.

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