Van Elle delivers record turnover despite impact of Carillion collapse

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Van Elle Holdings, the Nottinghamshire engineering group, has delivered record turnover for the fifth consecutive year despite being “significantly” impacted by the collapse of construction giant Carillion, severe weather conditions earlier this year and the delay of a number of important contracts.

The company, which will welcome Mark Cutler as chief executive in August, saw group revenue increase to £103.9m in the year to the end of April from £94.1m in 2017, driven by activity in new housing and infrastructure sectors.

Van Elle’s underlying operating profit was down 4% to £11.1m (2017: £11.6m), reflecting contract specific issues in the rail and ground stabilisation units together with challenging market conditions in the second half, while underlying pre-tax profit was down slightly from £11.1m to £10.6m.

Van Elle said its rail business suffered from Carillion’s demise and although satisfactory terms were agreed to re-start some of the halted contracts this only had a limited benefit in the second half.

Chairman Adrian Barden said:”Following the challenging conditions experienced at the start of 2018, recovery has been slow in a number of our end markets which has resulted in a relatively quiet first quarter for the group as a whole.

“However, we are seeing an increase in opportunities across each of our divisions, particularly in the housebuilding and infrastructure markets.  We continue to monitor conditions in our core markets actively and whilst mindful of the current conditions, we are cautiously optimistic about the group’s prospects, being well positioned to deliver further value to shareholders in the medium term.

“The year to 30 April 2019 will be an important one of transition for the group, with our new CEO, Mark Cutler, joining the board in a few weeks’ time. As a leader in the UK geotechnical engineering market, Van Elle has established a strong platform from which to pursue its growth strategy. In the near term the board is focussed on refining the group’s commercial approach, continuing to enhance its processes and operations and maximising the returns from the substantial investment in the rig fleet.”