NG Bailey, the UK’s largest independent engineering, IT and facilities services group, has reported a 14% increase in operating profits over the past year and seen its order book break the £1bn milestone.
Figures for the 12 months ending 2 March 2018 show operating profits (before exceptional items) rose from £12m to £13.7m. Combined with a 14% increase in the company’s order book, maintaining the company’s strong financial position.
Turnover fell slightly from £500m to £481m, reflecting the impact of changes across the construction sector in the last year. However, NG Bailey’s strategy of targeting a balance of work across services (IT and facilities services), large-scale infrastructure projects and traditional building construction has ensured the business remains resilient.
In the last year the Group has been involved in some significant projects, including the completion of the mechanical and electrical services at London Bridge, featuring the UK’s most advanced rail control centre; cementing Liverpool’s future as a world-class life science hub with a new £25m life sciences centre, and the second new-build on Newcastle’s £350m Science Central development to promote Newcastle globally as a city of science.
High-profile contracts have also been secured with Liverpool Football Club, Bloomberg and Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) – the largest construction project ever undertaken by the University of Manchester.
David Hurcomb, chief executive of NG Bailey, said: “Our operating performance over the past year shows our strategy continues to deliver strong results and ensures we remain a profitable and robust business.
“We are focused on achieving sustainable growth and leadership in our core markets, and we believe there are some exciting opportunities in defence, energy, data centres and rail over the next year. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We are operating in what is still a challenging environment for construction, with many major contractors feeling the impact.
“Despite this, we are making substantial progress in transforming the shape of the business to ensure we continue to deliver long-term success and are well placed to manage the challenges ahead.
“We have a strong balance sheet and the resources to selectively invest in growth areas. Our people, systems and processes provide a solid platform for the business. This is supported by the continued strength of our forward order book.”
The acquisition of Freedom Group since the financial year-end increases NG Bailey’s capabilities in sectors such as defence and airports, as well as providing an excellent opportunity to extend its range of services and develop a presence in new sectors, specifically the electricity distribution network market. It also increases the Group order book to circa £1.4bn.
David Hurcomb added: “Whilst there is continued economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the impact it will have on the industry, our solid financial position, and our ability to continue to invest in the company, puts us in a good position to weather any economic storm.
“Our success has been built on a platform of industry-leading expertise and exceptional customer service and our continued investment in people, technology and training makes us well-placed to differentiate our business in what remains a very competitive market.”
Kevin Whiteman, Chairman of NG Bailey, added: “We have shown consistent growth for the last three years, and our financial strength, with net assets of £139m, means we offer customers the strength and stability they need in their supply chain. And being able to offer this over the project life cycle is an attractive proposition for customers in this current uncertain trading environment.”