Building materials group Breedon Group has made a rock-solid recovery in the first half of the year thanks to the recovery in construction activity.
The sponsor of the Highland League, which has its Scottish HQ in Angus, said it has benefitted from the “continued recovery in demand for our products, with robust activity in both the residential housing and infrastructure markets”.
The Leicestershire-headquartered firm revealed it turned a £10.1million loss in the first half of last year into a pre-tax profit of £46.2m in the six months to the end of June 2021, while revenues nearly doubled to £600.9m, up from £335.3m in the same period of 2020.
It said “notable” contracts in the period included works at Aberdeen Harbour and the A9 dualling project.
In January it emerged that Breedon had formed joint venture with Leiths in order to provide concrete to the troubled Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project after contractor Dragados left the project midway through the construction phase.
The joint venture company, Northern Quarry Products (NQP), won the contract to supply 125,000 cubic metres of concrete in a job which had to be retendered by Aberdeen Harbour Board.
The partners successfully established a mobile concrete plant on site the that was ready by the end of March to provide material for the construction of the crown that wall protects the harbour from fierce North Sea waves as well as supplying the plant making the concrete breakwater blocks, called accropodes.
Breedon employs around 3,500 people at around 350 sites in Britain and Ireland.
It operates two cement plants and an extensive network of quarries, asphalt plants and ready-mixed concrete plants, together with slate production, concrete and clay products manufacturing, contract surfacing and highway maintenance operations.
The outlook for our end markets remains positive, with the UK and Irish governments committed to significant investment in infrastructure, combined with sustained structural demand for new build residential housing.”
Rob Wood, chief executive of Breedon
Chief executive Rob Wood said: “Breedon delivered a strong trading result in the first half of 2021, building on the recovery in demand which started in the second half of last year.
“This resilient performance reflects the commitment and efforts of all our colleagues, who have each demonstrated the highest levels of enthusiasm, professionalism and flexibility in working safely across the business, despite the challenges of the past fifteen months.
“This encouraging trading performance and cash generation has helped to strengthen the group’s balance sheet and we are pleased to announce our first dividend as planned, along with our commitment to a progressive dividend policy.
“Our first half performance, current trading conditions and improved visibility for the remainder of the year combine to give us greater confidence in the outlook for 2021 and we now expect underlying EBIT for 2021 to be at the top end of market expectations.
“The outlook for our end markets remains positive, with the UK and Irish governments committed to significant investment in infrastructure, combined with sustained structural demand for new build residential housing.
“With a strong balance sheet and new financing facilities we are well positioned to continue to invest in the growth of the business and to create value for all our stakeholders.”
Breedon has supported the Highland League for 10 years, having previously been title sponsor of the Highland League Cup.
Breedon shares closed 5% higher to 109.2p.