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Thu October 21 2021

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Metnor ready to rebound from tough 2020

17 Sep Newcastle’s Metnor Group lost a quarter of its turnover last year but is expecting to come back bigger than before.

Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre, built by Metnor Construction
Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre, built by Metnor Construction

Metnor Group’s 2020 turnover was down 26% to £68m (2019: £92m) with the gross profit margin reduced from 8.5% to 5.7%.

The Metnor Group comprises three main trading divisions which operate in the construction, mechanical & electrical services and pressure testing.

The impact of delayed projects together with recent contract wins and a reduced cost base means that record growth is forecast for all divisions this year.

Metnor Construction turnover in 2020 was £48.3m, down from £62.8m in the previous year. Work in hand includes: three private rented sector (PRS) schemes, in Sheffield, Birmingham and Rugby; three hotels in northern England; and a data hall in Wembley.

Norstead, the mechanical & electrical contracting business, also suffered a reduction in turnover – to £17.5m, down from £23.5m in 2019.  It also made a loss for the second year running due to delays to jobs and additional costs. However, 2020’s loss was smaller than in 2019 and it is expected to return to profit in 2021.

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The activities of Metnor (Great Yarmouth) Limited, the company’s specialist pressure testing business, rely on the oil price and associated confidence in the oil and gas sector.  The results of 2020 were affected by the lack of air travel during the pandemic, which led to a fall in the oil price.  However, the division is well financed and able to manage costs to enable it to continue to trade profitably, albeit from a reduced level, the company said.

Metnor Group chief executive Chris Cant said: “2020 was undoubtedly a very challenging year for the Metnor Group. The pandemic threw a number of challenges at us, but we have managed to come out of it stronger than we went in. I’m really proud that we’ve managed to keep our staff safe while delivering such prestigious projects to an exceptionally high standard of quality. Going forward, we’re looking to recruit a number of roles across all of our divisions to help us achieve our ambitious growth plans on some really exciting projects.”

He continued: “Over the past two years, we’ve made significant changes to the business, bringing in a new team with a real commercial and collaborative focus. These changes are now bearing fruit. While it's been a challenging time for all businesses, it's important we continue to plan for tomorrow and invest in our people.  Recent senior director promotions are testament to this and ensuring we develop future leadership signals the confidence and commitment we have in the market.

“We’ve got a strong order book ahead and although 2020 was a difficult year for us, we have more targeted and profitable work secured in the pipeline as we head into the second half of 2021 and beyond and I’m optimistic about the year ahead.”

He concluded: “We’re forecasting record turnover next year and then again the year after and it’s thanks to our fantastic team and supportive clients and suppliers that we’re tracking such ambitious growth.”

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