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Mon September 27 2021

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Rail woes slow Van Elle

25 Jul 18 Geotechnical contractor Van Elle made a pre-tax profit of £9.2m in the year ended 30th April 2018 on revenue of £103.9m.

Pre-tax profit was down 1.2% on the previous year despite 10.4% revenue growth.

Even after excluding the write-off of £956,000 from Carillion bad debt and £148,000 of share-based payment expenses, underlying operating profit was down 4% at £11.1m.

The Carillion write-off was less than previously indicated. In the first-half results statement in January it was anticipated that a £1.6m charge would have to be taken.

The board said the dip in profitability for the year reflected “contract specific issues in the rail and ground stabilisation units together with challenging market conditions”.

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Chairman Adrian Barden said: "Following the challenging conditions experienced at the start of 2018, recovery has been slow in a number of our end markets which has resulted in a relatively quiet first quarter for the group as a whole.

"However, we are seeing an increase in opportunities across each of our divisions, particularly in the housebuilding and infrastructure markets.  We continue to monitor conditions in our core markets actively and whilst mindful of the current conditions, we are cautiously optimistic about the group's prospects, being well positioned to deliver further value to shareholders in the medium term.

"The year to 30 April 2019 will be an important one of transition for the group, with our new CEO, Mark Cutler, joining the board in a few weeks' time. As a leader in the UK geotechnical engineering market, Van Elle has established a strong platform from which to pursue its growth strategy. In the near term the board is focussed on refining the group's commercial approach, continuing to enhance its processes and operations and maximising the returns from the substantial investment in the rig fleet."

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