nmcn, the Nottinghamshire-based engineering and construction company, “made a good start to 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a first quarter trading update.
In the first quarter, revenue increased by 3.7% to £97.9 million and pre-tax profit was up by 5.9% to £1.8 million.
Revenue overall for Built Environment increased by £6.8 million to £31.0 million (Q1 2019: £24.2 million). The segment generated profits of £0.2 million (Q1 2019: £0.2 million).
Across the other business units, the impact of the severe weather during the period on Highways and Building, along with the initial impact of COVID-19 on the Building business unit and the investment in the new Power & Industrial team resulted in a small contribution.
The Water business continued to perform strongly despite a reduction in revenue due to the AMP transition year for many of the segment’s customers. Q1 revenues were down by 4.7% to £66.9 million (Q1 2019: £70.2 million), but despite this, profitability increased to £1.6 million (Q1 2019: £1.5 million).
During April and May, however, the Group’s activities represented “in excess of 75% of the workload [it] would anticipate in a more normal operating environment.” The firm noted that operations in the Built Environment business units have been the more disrupted with a temporary cessation of works at most sites.
John Homer, Chief Executive, said: “We had a good start to 2020 which is reflected in the performance of the business in the first quarter prior to the COVID-19 lockdown at the end of March. Throughout the lockdown we have remained operational where it is safe to do so and complied with all the relevant guidelines.
“I am truly proud of the conduct of all our people in this period of unprecedented challenges. They have responded with flexibility and commitment, reflecting the culture of nmcn that has evolved over many years.
“Challenges remain, but our order intake, balance sheet and positive cash position remain healthy. The non-discretionary spend required in our core markets will hold steady in any economic downturn and we expect to be able to benefit from this in future trading.”