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Amey on the acquisition trail

13 Jun Having culled the poor performing bits of the business, Amey is back in expansion and diversification mode.

Amey chief executive Andy Milner
Amey chief executive Andy Milner

Amey’s 2023 accounts show strong profits and cash-flow; according to chief executive Andy Milner, it is in “excellent shape” and looking for acquisitions.

In 2023 Amey UK Ltd made a pre-tax profit of £97.0m on revenue of £1,836m.

Amey was acquired by UK private equity investors One Equity Partners and Buckthorn Partners on 30th December 2022 from Ferrovial of Spain in a £400m. transaction.

“In the first full year of new ownership, Amey has performed well, ahead of expectations and in line with the growth strategy I set out when I rejoined Amey at the end of 2022,” Andy Milner said. “The business performance is strong validation of the strategic plan and the unique operating model which has been embedded during 2023.

“Financially, the business has been very stable, and all business units have achieved or exceeded their budget plans. As expected, the performance of the business has not been affected by macroeconomic or geopolitical turbulence, demonstrating the resilience of the business model and the comprehensive approach to risk management.

“With the support of our investors, One Equity Partners and Buckthorn Partners, we have accessed new opportunities, particularly in energy transition and decarbonisation where we are able to develop, implement and manage practical infrastructure solutions.”

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He said: “The business demonstrated in 2023 that, unincumbered from discontinued operations disposed of in 2022, it is capable of significant cash generation.”

Group cash flow in 2023 was £79.9m, compared to a £10.4m outflow in 2022. This inflow is even after including £30.9m payments made against historic contract loss provisions.

Operations that Amey has shed in recent years include waste collection, utilities power projects and military accommodation.

Having extricated itself from loss-making ventures, Amey is now looking for new activities to dive into, specifically: “We are looking to diversify our sector presence and capability through acquisitions and by using our existing and emerging digital platforms to grow our international advisory and consulting offering,” said Milner.

Andy Milner joined Amey originally in 2006 when it acquired consulting engineer Owen Williams. He became chief executive in 2016 but then left at the end of 2019 after a series of loss-making ventures, including the Birmingham Highways debacle. Amey had to pay Birmingham City Council £215m to terminate a PFI highway maintenance contract. However, the new private equity owners brought him back as their first move.

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