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Sun August 18 2019

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Pop-up hockey pitch gives lift to Polypipe

5 days Creating the world’s first modular, transportable hockey pitch helped Polypipe’s growth in the first six months of 2019.

The Permavoid base goes down for hockey at the Stoop
The Permavoid base goes down for hockey at the Stoop

In June, the world's first fully portable international standard hockey pitch was installed at The Twickenham Stoop ahead of the Pro League matches between Team GB and New Zealand. 

Laid in less than a week, the modular pitch system uses Polypipe’s Permavoid for both structural support and irrigation management. Permavoid comprises high-strength modular cells suitable for sub-base replacement.

England Hockey worked in partnership with Polypipe to build a hockey pitch over the existing Harlequins rugby pitch, providing a strong base for the synthetic grass that hockey is played on, while supporting drainage and enabling real grass to keep growing beneath for rugby.

The plan is to lay the modular hockey pitch in other stadia for future major matches.

Synthetic hockey turf is then laid on top of the Permavoid base
Synthetic hockey turf is then laid on top of the Permavoid base

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Polypipe acquired Permavoid in September 2018 for a price that could reach £16.5m depending on performance.  A month later it paid £52m for Manthorpe Building Products. Consequently the first half 2019 has seen Polypipe focusing on integrating the new acquisitions. The Permavoid integration is now complete and the Manthorpe integration is on track to be completed by the end of the year. Both businesses are performing in line with expectations, the board said today.

In the six months to 30th June 2019 Polypipe grew pre-tax profit by 4% to £31.4m (2018 H1: £30.1m) on revenue up 6% to £223.3m (2018 H1: £210.2m). Operating profit was up 5% to £35.2m (2018 H1: £33.5m).

On a like-for-like basis excluding the impact of acquisitions, revenue was 1.0% higher.  This result was after the effects of the pull forward of some demand into the fourth quarter of 2018 ahead of an early 2019 price increase, and some further merchant destocking towards the end of the period.

Chief executive Martin Payne said: "The business has performed well in the first half with good revenue growth and improved margins through selective cost reductions and acquisitions. The medium-term fundamentals of our markets remain strong. Whilst we are mindful of current political and economic uncertainty, management continues to focus on self-help measures and together with an encouraging start to the second half, the Board's profit expectations for the year remain unchanged."

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