Revenues up at steel group as pandemic’s impact starts to ease

Structural steel business Billington Holdings has seen its revenues jump more than 25% in the year ended 31 December 2021.

The Wombwell-based firm has today reported 2021 revenues of £82.7m (2020: £66m), as activity levels improved following the peak of the pandemic shutdowns experienced in 2020.

And the group says it also remained profitable amidst difficult market conditions, with underlying pre-tax profits of £1.3m (2020: £1.7m).

Mark Smith, chief executive officer, said: “2021 was a year of partial recovery for our markets as the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic abated.

“However, the group continued to face challenges from the continuing impact of the pandemic, raw material price increases, together with supply constraints for certain materials and labour.

“Despite these challenges we operated our facilities at full utilisation and remained profitable as a company.

“Whilst the market remains competitive, and market conditions and the macroeconomic environment remain challenging, Billington’s order book continues at a consistently high level, comprising both delayed and new projects, and the group has good visibility of significant further prospects.”

At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, 46% of the business’s workforce were placed on furlough leave. During the later part of 2020 and into the first half of 2021 the majority of those previously on furlough returned to work.

However, the group did continue to experience Covid-19 related disruptions to its operations in 2021, with staff required to isolate, presenting some operational challenges, particularly in the second half of the year. 

Billington warns the Russian invasion of Ukraine has recently thrown up new challenges for its industry, as significant volumes of steel products originate in Russia and Ukraine.

The company’s update adds: “With supplies restricted from these regions, shortages, and as a consequence price increases, have been noted for some of the group’s raw materials.

“Alternative sources for these products have been sourced and supply constraints are anticipated to ease as we progress through 2022.”