Market uncertainties and operational weaknesses see “disappointing” results at Van Elle

Van Elle, the Nottinghamshire ground engineering contractor, has posted “disappointing” preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2019, pointing to challenging end-market conditions and operational weaknesses as a main contributing factor.

Revenue is at £88.5m, declining from £102.9m in 2018, while the firm reported profit before tax slumped to £4m from £9.2m.

Mark Cutler, Chief Executive, said: “This has been a year of transition for the business, having taken action to strengthen the leadership team, refine the Group’s commercial approach, streamline operations and re-focus on our customers.

“Whilst it is disappointing to report that performance across the year has been impacted by a combination of widely-reported market uncertainties and previously highlighted operational weaknesses, we are seeing tangible signs of operational improvement as a result of the transition plan we are implementing. Our strengthened commercial approach is gaining traction as evidenced by recent contract wins and an encouraging orderbook.

“Nevertheless, the Group is continuing to experience customer uncertainty as well as some heightened competitive pressure, resulting in a quiet start to the current year in some segments and increased volatility in month on month performance. Whilst the improved customer focused approach and positive order book development underpins the Board’s confidence in the prospects for the Group in the medium term, the Board is mindful that challenging market conditions and the resultant volatility is persisting into the current financial year and impacting visibility.

“Whilst the benefits of our self-help initiatives should drive improved performance in the business, the ability to make overall progress in FY20 will require supportive market conditions as we progress through the year.

“Van Elle fundamentally remains a market-leading business with a clear strategy. Having seen the positive impact of the initial actions undertaken as part of phase one of the transition plan, we are confident that these steps, as well as the further commercial and operational initiatives that will be deployed in the current year, will leave us well placed to capture significant opportunities across our target markets today and into the future.”