Revenue rises as profits slide at Van Elle

Van Elle says it has “made progress” despite challenging market conditions in its first half.

According to interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2019, revenue grew by 13.1% to £48.5m (H1 2019: £42.9m), reflecting growth in the housing and highways markets, though this was contrasted with subdued conditions in commercial and rail markets.

Underlying PBT however, reduced to £1.1m (H1 2019: £2.8m), “reflecting a weak first quarter and adverse sales mix across the period.”

The firm revealed that phase 1 of its transformation programme is “substantially complete” with a simplified divisional structure implemented and all operations now based at a single site in Kirkby in Ashfield.

The group also noted that its new Chief Financial Officer, Graeme Campbell, will join Van Elle from Severfield plc on 17 February 2020.

Mark Cutler, Chief Executive, said: “The business continues to improve and, despite challenging market conditions through the first half, we have made progress. We have a clear strategy focused on three core markets – housing, infrastructure and regional construction – where we offer a broad range of end-to-end technical capabilities through our extensive and well-invested rig fleet. Good progress continues to be made in building long term and strategic relationships with our key customers in all sectors.

“Operational performance is stable with previous challenges now substantially addressed.  The simplified divisional structure with motivated, co-located teams under strengthened leadership means that we are more efficient and joined-up.  This allows us to focus even more intently on customer service, operational excellence, margin improvement and cash generation.

“Whilst mindful of ongoing volatility across construction markets and recognising a slower Q3 than previous years due to subdued rail activity, the Board expects some market improvement and further progress in the balance of the second half. This is also supported by the benefits of ongoing improvements under the Group’s transformation programme. Consequently, the Board expects to deliver results for the full year within the range of market expectations.”