Pandemic challenges continue to impact construction and engineering consultant

Driver Group CEO Mark Wheeler

Construction and engineering consultant Driver Group has reported a drop in sales and profits due to pandemic challenges.

However, the group has announced it will be paying shareholders a final dividend for the full year of 0.75 pence per share.

The Rossendale group which works in a number of sectors including transportation, energy, infrastructure building and marine, said the past year has continued to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but the overall picture was “positive and improving.”

Revenues for the year ending 30 September 2021, decreased by 8% to £48.8m, down from £53.1m for the same period in 2020.

Underlying profit before tax was also down by 20% from £2.5m in 2020 to £2m.

Chairman Steven Norris said the group has continuously monitored the uncertainty across global economies and markets caused by the pandemic, and the associated lower levels of commercial activity, in order to manage the impact on Driver Group.

He said: “A resilient operating performance during 2021 saw profits only slightly down on last year’s results, despite continued COVID impacts across our global business and the loss earlier in the year of two senior staff and associated team members to a competitor in the APAC region.

“In addition our cash position has been maintained at a healthy level.

“In a year of unique and unprecedented challenge this is a strong performance and one that shows Driver Group has responded to the effects of the pandemic in a highly resourceful and resilient manner.”

Looking ahead the pipeline of opportunity is yet to be reflected in a sustained improvement in the Group’s financial performance.

While it expects to see significant year-on-year improvement, this will require monthly revenues during the remainder of the financial year consistently higher than the £4m monthly run rate recorded across the first quarter.

Mark Wheeler, CEO of Driver Group, said: “Our critical advantages in addressing this challenge are an exceptional team of people across the world who are committed to the business and a backlog of work from construction and engineering projects that have been through all manner of challenges during the last 18 months.

“Additionally, whilst a reduction in global travel will create, and has created, savings both economically and in terms of our environmental impact, the opportunity to travel for key new commissions and marketing opportunities cannot be underestimated.

“Seeing current and potential clients face-to-face will be of great significance as we work to drive the business to return to higher levels of profit over the next two years.”