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Foundations specialist warns profits in decline

16 Dec 19 A trading update from Van Elle, the UK's largest ground engineering contractor, reveals profits are substantially down for the first half of its financial year.

Van Elle said that challenging market conditions, “with customer uncertainty and some heightened competitive pressure”, meant that its adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months to 31st October would be just £1.0m, or thereabouts, down from £2.8m the previous year.

First-half revenue was around £48m (2019 H1: £42.9m).

Despite the difficult start to the year, Van Elle’s board is confident of meeting market expectations for the full year.

It said: “Notwithstanding continued short term uncertainty in several of the group's markets, including the commercial building sector and subdued activity levels in year one of Network Rail's Control Period 6, the Board anticipates modest market improvement during the second half and believes the diversity of the group's operations and continued delivery of its transition plan initiatives will allow it to maintain the current momentum. Consequently, the board believes that the group is on-track to deliver a result for the current year within the range of market expectations.”

Van Elle’s results for the first half of its 2020 financial year are due to be published on 22nd January 2020.

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