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Sat August 08 2020

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Keltbray eyes more public sector work after profits dive

16 Jul Keltbray has posted financial results showing strong growth in turnover but a similarly marked fall in pre-tax profits.

Brendan Kerr, owner of Keltbray
Brendan Kerr, owner of Keltbray

For the year to 31st October 2019 Keltbray generated record turnover of £563.4m, up 41% on the previous year (2018: £399.2m).

However, pre-tax profit fell by the exact same 41% to £10.5m (2018: £17.8m).

Finance director Peter Burnside said: “The group delivered a robust cash performance and consistent overall financial performance in the 2018/19 financial year, despite the negative impact of a cooling market sentiment.

“The group has faced up to the prevailing trading challenges and has taken the necessary steps to safeguard the business, while continuing to focus on our core strategic goals. This gives us the confidence that our growth plans are realistic and achievable.”

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Keltbray has grown in recent years by diversification from demolition to piling, structures, rail engineering, lifting and haulage. It is now plotting further growth in new markets, particular in the public and regulated sectors where revenue streams and less prone to fluctuating.

Brendan Kerr, owner and executive chairman, said in the company’s annual report: “Construction markets are cyclical by nature and this places pressures on particular areas of our business as investor confidence peaks and troughs with market sentiment. However we see attractive adjacent markets that are growing consistently and that we believe offer convertible opportunities over the medium term in built infrastructure sectors like defence, aviation, transport including highways and rail, ports and marine, residential, and water utilities.

“Therefore we will seek to further broaden and deepen our service offering into targeted areas of the public sector and regulated customer markets. Our private ownership structure; reputation for the safe delivery of high quality engineering services; innovative, can-do culture; and deep relationships and capabilities in our core markets give me every confidence that the Keltbray brand can expand its presence into these new, attractive infrastructure segments, while continuing to develop and drive business growth in our core markets.”

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