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Sat August 08 2020

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Eurovia puts climate emergency at centre of strategy

30 Jul A company whose core business is paving roads for motor cars is putting environmental issues at the front of its business strategy.

Eurovia UK, part of the French construction conglomerate Vinci, generated record revenues in 2019 after several years of slow and steady growth.

But in the company’s annual report, chief executive Scott Wardrop focuses on the environment issues that are the prime drivers of business strategy.

“We expect the next 10 years to see major challenges due to climate change which will impact us all,” he says. “Our teams spent 2019 and 2020 supporting highway authorities in the fight against the floods which occurred across the UK. In future years we will increasingly need a range of ‘climate change resilience’ services around preparing and maintaining our highway infrastructure for abnormal weather conditions, using data to help inform and model interventions, and planned interventions, to support highway authorities and local communities deal with the impact of ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ weather events.”

Scott Wardrop continues: “We are also aware of the substantial impact that our own activity can have on greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. In 2019 our shareholder [Vinci] has set itself the worldwide target of reducing the scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions of all its operations by -40% by 2030. We continue to invest in zero or reduced emission vehicles and plant, as well as reducing our energy consumption by close management of resources. We are actively striving to lead the way in promoting a circular economy through recycling of construction materials to reduce the usage of natural mineral resources. In addition, our teams are currently building the first Power Road project un the UK, as part if the Department for Transport funded ADEPT LiveLabs projects. This is a unique solution that transforms roads so that they can harness thermal energy for cooling/warming public assets and mitigating the impact of winter weather conditions.”

Eurovia UK generated consolidated revenue of £557m in 2019, up 11% on 2018 and up 25% on 2013.

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Pre-tax profit rose to £19.2m in 2019 (2018: £13.2m).

Including joint ventures (Bear Scotland and Ringway Jacobs) revenue was up 8% to £754m.

Growth last year was driven by the start of new highway service contracts for Gloucestershire County Council, worth £20m a year, and for Highways England in the east region (formerly areas 6 and 8), worth £28m a year. Both contracts are undertaken by Eurovia’s Ringway business.

The Isle of Wight highways private finance initiative (PFI) continues to be a money-loser since it started in 2013, down £2.9m for Eurovia (Ringway Island Roads Ltd) in 2019.

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