Profitable year for construction materials firm, before pandemic struck

Edward Naylor
X The Business Desk

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Yorkshire-based construction materials manufacturer, Naylor Industries, has reported a steady improvement in profitability in the financial year to February 29 2020.

The year included the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the pandemic.

Sales – which grew 13% in the previous year – were only fractionally higher at £55.6m (2019: £55.3m) due to challenging market conditions.

However, over recent years, Naylor says it has invested heavily in its manufacturing operations, with increased efficiencies resulting in a 34% increase in pre-tax profits to £2.7m (2019: £2m).

Naylor is a fourth-generation family business with six manufacturing sites across the UK, including three in the Barnsley area.

The company manufactures clay and plastic pipes as well as concrete products and employs nearly 400 people.

Recent years have seen the company invest heavily in plant and premises, acquiring two new freehold sites in Barugh Green and Wombwell and constructing a £5.5m manufacturing plant for large diameter plastic drainage.

In July 2020, the company commissioned a new automated £2m concrete lintel plant at Barugh Green, following this in August 2020 with the acquisition of £3.3m-turnover concrete fencepost manufacturer Procter Fencing, based in Garforth.

Edward Naylor, chief executive, said: “2019-20 was a year of steady progress despite challenging market conditions.

“Although our key construction markets remained unsettled in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, we achieved an encouraging increase in profitability, with our factories becoming more efficient thanks to the capital investment of the last few years.”

The company says the early stages of the pandemic have been disruptive, with two of its factories closing temporarily.

But it notes that all its sites continued to service the requirements of its customers, many of whom were engaged in key infrastructure and healthcare projects.

Naylor added: “The pandemic has blown us off-course and we’re expecting a £5m shortfall in 2020-21 sales.

“We saw activity levels nose-dive in April but more recently, sales have recovered to within 5-10% of normal levels.

“We raised £5m of extra finance from HSBC earlier in the year which strengthened our capital base and gives us the firepower to keep expanding the business.”