Mears Group, the maintenance firm, has appointed Stuart Black chief operating officer.

Mears, listed on the alternative investment market, reported a turnover of £112m in 2003.

Black, 40, who starts his new role on 15 November, was business development director of listed support services group Mouchel Parkman. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the sector.

Mears said that it was creating the role of operating officer to strengthen management when it announced its half-year results at the end of August.

At that time it posted better than expected results; pre-tax profit rose 40% to £3.2m.

Profitability at Mears, which specialises in social housing, has shown an annual compound growth rate of 43% since it was listed on AIM in October 1996. Shares in the company have risen by more than half in the past 12 months. They closed at 184p on Tuesday.