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Mon September 23 2019

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Billington margin reaches 6.5% to take group to new heights

9 Apr Listed steelwork group Billington posted revenue and profit growth in 2018 on the back of a clutch of high-profile construction projects.

Billington Structures supplied steelwork for 7/8 Wellington Place, the new HMRC offices in Leeds that Wates is building, with completion expected in 2020
Billington Structures supplied steelwork for 7/8 Wellington Place, the new HMRC offices in Leeds that Wates is building, with completion expected in 2020

For the year ended 31st December 2018 Billington Group’s pre-tax profit increased 11.4% to £4.9m (2017: £4.4m) on revenue up 5.2% to a record £77.3m (2017: £73.5m).

The operating margin improved from 6% in 2017 to 6.5% in 2018.

Billington Structures, the structural steelwork division at the heart of the group, delivered a number of prestigious projects throughout 2018, including: Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire; Aldi Distribution Centre, Darlington; 125 Deansgate Commercial Development, Manchester; Amazon Fulfilment Centre, Avonmouth; London School of Economics; Boeing Manufacturing Facility, Sheffield; and 7/8 Wellington Place in Leeds.

Chief executive Mark Smith said: "We are delighted at the progress which has been made across all our group companies during 2018 and this has helped Billington deliver a record performance."

"The level of secured work Billington takes forward into 2019 is unprecedented and ensures that we can look to the future with optimism. Undoubtedly 2019 will present its challenges, however, we are confident it will be another successful and progressive year for the group."

"Billington continues to monitor both the challenges and opportunities which may result from the UK's exit from the European Union. To date we have seen no discernible impact on trading or enquiry levels."

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Chairman Ian Lawson, the former Severfield chief executive who joined the board in October, said: “During the year our structural steel businesses, Billington Structures and Shafton Steel Services operated at near optimum output. Improved production techniques and contribution from the in house manufacture of products combined with an enviable orderbook leaves the businesses well placed to deliver another successful year in 2019.

“Peter Marshall Steel Stairs achieved another record performance due to an increased sales effort and a focus on securing larger contracts with our partner clients. We continue to invest in the business and the order book is currently strong and ahead of the same period last year.

“The Easi-edge perimeter edge protection and fall prevention business had a very good year with further investment in its core product, improved utilisation and new customer wins. A significant capital expenditure programme has been underway which should help drive future growth.

“Hoard-it, which had a change of management in 2017, has reaped the benefits of new initiatives and recorded their best performance to date. With an excellent market position and plans to introduce new products, we expect another strong result this year.

“It is pleasing that the group continues to note a further improvement in the operating margin to 6.5% (2017: 6.0%). We continue to seek cost savings and enhanced utilisation where appropriate, and believe our current margins are sustainable. Margin pressures remain in the structural steel market, but expectations point to further growth in the years ahead driven by increasing demand.”

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