Improving markets give grounds for optimism at steel group

North Yorkshire-based structural steel group, Severfield, has reported revenues of £463.5m (2023: £491.8m) in its results for the year ended 30 March 2024, which it says reflects the impact of softer market conditions in 2024.

Underlying profit before tax up was 13% to £36.5m (2023: £32.5m), which the group says is ahead of expectations due to strong operational delivery.

Severfield adds it had a high-quality, diversified UK and Europe order book worth £478m as of 1 June 2024 (1 November 2023: £482m), which includes a higher proportion of European orders.

A £10m share buyback programme was launched in April 2024 to return surplus capital to shareholders.

Alan Dunsmore, chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to be reporting another strong performance by the group, with our profits ahead of expectations.

“This is the result of an excellent operational performance and the success of our strategy to diversify the sectors and geographies we serve.

“This has enabled us to deliver enhanced returns for shareholders through our recent share buyback scheme, building on our 10 consecutive years of progressive dividends.

“Looking ahead, we have strong order books in the UK, Europe and India which are providing us with good earnings visibility through 2025 and beyond.”

The group notes that market conditions in the UK and Europe are showing signs of improvement.

And it says its businesses remain well-positioned to win work in markets with positive long-term growth trends, including those which are driving the green energy transition.

Severfield also highlights a record India order book worth £181m as of 1 June 2024 (1 November 2023: £165m). It says it is targeting new markets in India, as it takes advantage of a strong underlying demand for structural steel in this country.