It reported a 15% increase in turnover for the financial year ending 31 October 2013, up from £126m to £145m. Gross profit improved by 29%, and operating profit remained stable at £2.6m. The group’s cash position improved to £4m in hand by year end.
“We expect to continue to stay ahead of the construction market recovery by growing the business in excess of 20% in 2014 based on our good pipeline of work," said chief executive officer Brendan Kerr. "Our challenge for 2014 and 2015 will be to meet the widely reported skills shortages in our industry by widening the talent pool and continuing to build on our track record of attracting young people to Keltbray by offering good prospects, job security and a range of training and development opportunities.”
Keltbray’s Demolition & Civil Engineering division, which covers about 66% of the business and includes piling, asbestos management, engineering design consultancy as well as haulage and plant increased turnover by 12%. Contract wins include regeneration projects at the Heygate Estate in London for Lend Lease, and major residential development for Qatari Diar at Chelsea Barracks.
The Rail division, which covers about 30% of the business and includes overhead line electrification design and build as well as rail engineering and civils projects, grew by 24% and was responsible for the company’s biggest turnover increase. Keltbray became the delivery partner for ABC Electrification and Costain to work on a seven-year rail electrification framework contract, which is expected to provide workloads until 2021.
Kerr said: “I am pleased about the continued strengthening of our performance and our consistent improvements in turnover growth and maintenance of operating margins. To meet increasing market demands, we invested a record £9 million in new plant and assets in 2013. We also bolstered our human resources and training functions to manage our future skills and labour requirements effectively."