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Knowsley-headquartered Clarke Energy, a supplier of gas powered generators and landfill gas recovery and generation plants, is targeting sales of more than £200m in the next 12 months following a record year in 2010.

Chairman Jim Clarke said the business had a good order book going into 2011, while market conditions were continuing to improve.

The business, which this week leapt 30 places to 100 in the annual Insider Top 500 rankings, reported a 15 per cent increase in turnover to £172.5m in the year to 31 October. Pre-tax profit also rose by a healthy 55 per cent to £8.3m during the period.

The latest accounts for Clarke Energy Holdings, which includes the Clarke Energy and Clarke Telecom businesses, also shows an operating profit of £9m compared with £6.8m a year earlier. Employee numbers grew from 542 to 624.

“The Clarke Group has once again achieved a record year in terms of turnover and profit,” said Clarke. The outlook for 2011 is encouraging with a healthy order book, record work in progress, a higher than normal level of good enquiries and market conditions which are generally improving.”

Clarke Energy provides decentralised power generation, combined heat and power, green energy and waste treatment services. It has operations in Australia, China, France, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Tunisia and the UK.

Clarke Telecom, meanwhile, operates from a head office in Chadderton, near Oldham, and is one of the UK’s largest wireless telecoms network infrastructure service providers.

In March 2010, private equity firm 3i sold its 18 per cent share in the group to Clarke and his management team for £7.2m. The deal ended 3i’s ten-year long association with the business.

“We continue to enjoy a reputation for quality, value and on time performance which is the major contributor to growth and improving market share worldwide year on year,” said Clarke.

“We look forward with confidence to the new year and expect to achieve sales of more than £200m while maintaining our normal levels of profit.”

The company’s directors have proposed a final dividend on preference of shares of £205,300, in addition to the interim dividend of £205,300.

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