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Speller Metcalfe gets itself back in shape

4 Nov 21 Building contractor Speller Metcalfe has proclaimed itself in reasonable shape after posting positive annual financial results.

Judith Lewis has joined Speller Metcalfe as its new finance director
Judith Lewis has joined Speller Metcalfe as its new finance director

For the year to 31st March 2021 Speller Metcalfe turnover reached £104.7m. Pre-tax profit was £536,000.

At year-end the company had net assets of £982,568 (2020: £510,785).

While turnover was reduced due the impact of Covid-19 and resultant project delays, the company has a healthy forward order book and forecasts turnover to return to pre-pandemic levels of £120m in the current financial year.

Speller Metcalfe recently changed its financial year-end from September to March. In the six months to March 2020 it made a profit of £1.6m on £65.1m turnover.

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The change in financial year came after Speller Metcalf went through a rough patch in 2018 and 2019. It felt the ripple effects of the Carillion collapse, the Grenfell Tower fire and Brexit uncertainty putting projects on hold and sending insurance premiums through the roof. For the 18 months to the end of September 2018 it made a pre-tax loss of £5m. This prompted a refocusing and the closure of the Gloucester office.

In the 2021 accounts, long-serving finance director Mike Clarke writes: “The directors consider the performance for the year and financial position at the year-end to be satisfactory... Following  a challenging period for the business in 2018/19, the directors are pleased to report that the group has returned to profitability… This is solid evidence that the measures implemented since March 2019 to protect the group and increase profitability have proved successful.”

After 20 years looking after Speller Metcalfe’s finances Mike Clarke has now stepped down. Judith Lewis has been recruited as its new finance director and comes with significant construction experience. She began her career as part of a rail joint-venture owned by GEC Alsthom and Tarmac Construction, which later became Carillion Rail, before moving as finance director into Carillion’s property development business, and later its private finance business. Mike Clarke will support his successor as he moves into a part-time role as group financial controller.

Joint managing director Andy Metcalfe said: “Judith is a fantastic addition to the business and we are incredibly pleased to welcome her to our operational board of directors. Her wealth of experience and strong track record within the construction industry will be instrumental to strengthening our financial resilience and our strategic plans to consolidate our strong trading position.”

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