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Buckingham reveals highest margin in 10 years

Buckingham Group has seen profit grow by more than 20 per cent despite a “frustrating year” for its buildings division.

The contractor posted pre-tax profit of £16.7m for the year to 31 December 2017, up 21 per cent from £13.8m in 2016.

Profit growth drove an increase in pre-tax margin, which grew from 3.4 per cent in 2016 to 3.9 per cent in 2017 – the company’s highest margin in 10 years.

The company also achieved record turnover of £423m for the year to 31 December 2017, up from £408m in 2016.

Cash in the bank stood at £64.4m at the end of 2017, up from £62.6m a year earlier.

Buckingham said that, despite profit and margin increases, 2017 had been a “frustrating year” for its buildings business. The company’s biggest division had seen several opportunities identified at the start of the year hit by delays.

The buildings arm delivered £138m turnover for the year, which was well short of its £180m target.

It blamed a variety of reasons for this, including market conditions brought about by Brexit and uncertainty created by last year’s general election.

Many of these opportunities had now converted into contracts and the company said it expected the buildings business to hit £200m turnover in 2018.

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Rail contributed £106m to the group’s 2017 turnover through work with Network Rail on its CP5 construction frameworks.

Buckingham has retained its place on Network Rail’s CP6 frameworks, but said uncertainty in Network Rail’s future workstreams had prompted moves to diversify its workload to other rail clients.

The company said it was in discussions with several tier one teams to assist with the delivery of HS2’s civil works packages, and was also engaged on frameworks with two of the HS2 enabling works management contractors.

Buckingham said its sports and leisure arm had experienced an upturn off the back of several new stadium contract wins, having reported a relatively quiet 2015 and 2016.

The company won the roofing contract for Mace’s project to build Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in 2017 (pictured), as well as the redevelopment of York City’s stadium.

It will also work with Willmott Dixon to develop Brentford’s new stadium.

Buckingham was preferred bidder to build a new stand at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium, but the club decided to retender the contract.

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