Engineering firm set to slip into the red after Covid-19 hits revenues

Van Elle, the Nottinghamshire piling firm, has issued a profit warning, saying it expects to post an underlying pre-tax loss this year after the coronavirus crisis hit its bottom line.

The firm said that, without taking into account the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, revenues were running 4% down, at around £85m. The firm’s final six weeks of its financial year will see it fall into the red, it confirmed this morning.

Van Elle said it won’t issue financial guidance for the year to April 2021. The firm’s order book at 31 April 2020 remains in line with the half year position at £31.7m (31 October 2019: £31.9m) although enquiry levels have reduced by circa 20% compared to previous levels.

The company has revealed it has been awarded preferred bidder status for its first contract on High Speed 2 and to be recently appointed to two of the three regions on Highways England’s new four-year ground investigation framework, both of which are expected to commence during the first half of the financial year.

A statement from Van Elle said: “The Group is progressing discussions with existing and potential lenders to put in place additional debt facilities as part of its long-term capital structure strategy and expects this process to be concluded in August 2020. The Board remains confident that it has sufficient financial stability and liquidity to respond quickly as the markets recover, building a platform from which to progress its longer-term strategic ambitions.”

Meanwhile, Frank Nelson has been named as a new non-executive director and chair designate from 1 July.