Contractor prepares to build on firmer foundations after tough year

Van Elle is confident its prospects are “more compelling” after a challenging period for the sector.

The Nottinghamshire contractor believes it is “well placed to benefit from a recovery in activity levels in housing, construction, rail and highways” in the next financial year.

It has today confirmed revenues were down 16%, to £68.2m, in the six months to October. Pre-tax profits fell by more than one-quarter, to £2.5m.

Van Elle’s chief executive Mark Cutler said: “These results represent a resilient performance in the face of expected challenging market conditions throughout FY2024, reflecting the benefits of the group’s diversified end-market exposure.

“Despite the anticipated lower revenues, operating margin has been maintained at FY2023 levels, our balance sheet is stronger, and our future prospects are more compelling.”

Van Elle is the UK’s largest specialist geotechnical engineering contractor, operating in the residential, infrastructure and construction sectors.

Although it was affected by “softer market conditions” and delays to major projects, Van Elle said it “has made strong progress on substantial growth opportunities in the energy and water sectors”, where investment is forecast to grow significantly over the long term.

In October it bought Rock & Alluvium from Galliford Try in a deal worth up to £3.8m. The Surrey-based piling specialist mainly serves the residential and commercial sectors in London and the South East.

The deal was agreed alongside a five-year deal with Galliford Try to provide piling and geotechnical services that is expected to be worth more than £10m per year.

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