10/11/2014 - 13:03

Promising year for Brightwater, Silver Chain

10/11/2014 - 13:03

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Promising year for Brightwater, Silver Chain
Brightwater Care Group chief executive Penny Flett.

The state’s two largest not-for-profit businesses in the disability and aged care sectors have reported positive results despite an increasingly uncertain operating environment.

Both Brightwater Care Group and Silver Chain Group have released annual reports for the 2013-14 financial year.

At first glance, Brightwater’s annual financial results appear somewhat negative in that a $3 million reduction in revenue to a total of $140.6 million was recorded and the group ended the year with a $77,000 deficit.

However chief executive Penny Flett told Business News the year could not be defined by the bottom line, as that had been affected by extraordinary circumstances such as a change in accounting standards and employee benefits.

In addition, a year earlier Brightwater had received a significant grant from Lotterywest to build its Oats Street rehabilitation facility, most of which it had spent in the 2013-14 financial year.

In general, Dr Flett said, the year had been promising, with significant improvements to service delivery and a strong balance sheet.

Dr Flett was more cautious about the year ahead, as reforms to both the aged care and disability sector would likely reduce cash flow.

“We are operating in fascinating times,” Dr Flett said.

“You could measure this in a series of massive challenges - that may be the case but for us we like to see opportunities in every challenge so there’s lots of room to think perhaps a little differently.”

Perth-based Silver Chain has reported $226 million revenue from operating activities for the year to the end of June 2014.

The 4 per cent increase in revenue helped the business achieve an $849,000 surplus for the year - a marked improvement from the $8.2 million deficit recorded at the end of June 2013.

Chief executive Chris McGowan said the year had been challenging, particularly with its operations in South Australia, which had struggled in a difficult operating environment.

But he said the situation had improved both with the financial situation but also with an improvement in morale and engagement of staff.

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