Revenues across the Vp group are now running at circa 85% of pre-Covid levels and 100 of the 120 locations that were initially mothballed are now fully operational again, in response to customers returning to work.
“However, the re-alignment of capacity to better reflect current levels of demand has required us to merge or close 17 branches and regrettably make approximately 150 positions redundant across our various businesses, in the UK and internationally,” the company announced this morning.
With 2,890 employees, according to the 2020 annual report, 150 redundancies represents about 5% of the total workforce.
Thanks to careful cash management, net debt has reduced to £118.7m, down from £159.7m six months ago at the end of March. “A sustained period of strong cost control, reduced capital expenditure and excellent working capital management has delivered this impressive net debt improvement,” the board said.
It added: “Markets are generally stable and infrastructure work, in particular, should be supportive as the likes of the AMP7, HS2 and Hinkley Point programmes start to gain momentum. We do however remain slightly cautious with regard to the short to medium term prospects as we await evidence of a recovery in confidence and the commencement of new projects. In addition we also remain conscious of the fact that the Covid pandemic is yet to be fully under control.”
The Vp group includes UK Forks, Groundforce, TPA, Brandon Hire Station, and Torrent Trackside, among other specialist equipment businesses.