Accounts filed this week by VolkerWessels UK Ltd show revenue for the year to 31st December 2019 was up 20% to £1,180m (2018: £984m).
Pre-tax profit was up 9% to £31.7m (2018: £29.0m).
VolkerWessels UK includes the businesses VolkerStevin, VolkerRail, Volker Highways, VolkerLaser and VolkerFitzpatrick.
While the financials looked good, the accounts reveal that other metrics moved in the wrong direction. The group’s accident frequency rate doubled from 0.03 to 0.06), the percentage of waste diverted from landfill declined from 93% to 91% and carbon dioxide emissions went up 37% to 28.7 kilotons (tonnes/million revenue).
The group’s order book at 31st December 2019 decreased 16% to £1,151m compared to the high mark of £1,367m achieved in 2018.
Chief executive Alan Robertson wrote in his report: “Trading conditions in the UK remained difficult throughout 2019 with a continued lack of clarity to business around the UK’s future relationship with the EU a key factor. During 2019, in the absence of clarity over the future for the UK, confidence generally weakened and economic growth remained subdued.”
“The industry has also faced challenges from within this year with several large publicly listed contractors either entering insolvency or having to take urgent action to address high levels of debt on their balance sheets. Whilst these issues have had limited impact on our business, they have quite rightly promoted stakeholders to review industry practices and the adequacy of related regulation, a process which has had, and will likely continue to have, implications for all players in the sector, particularly those that contract with public bodies.
“Despite this backdrop, 2019 was another very successful year for VolkerWessels UK, building on the value we add to our clients. Our excellent reputation, supported by a strong heritage and consistent, dependable quality of work has continued to build amongst our clients, in the wider marketplace and within the industry.”