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NG Bailey underlying profit rises 43% as construction arm shrinks

NG Bailey grew its underlying profit by 43 per cent during 2013/14, despite continuing to shrink its building construction business.

The engineering and facilities group made an underlying profit of £3m on the back of a group-wide turnover that fell 4 per cent to £365m.

Overall pre-tax profit for the group declined by 39 per cent in the 12 months to 27 February, from £6.9m to £4.2m. However, chief executive David Hurcomb said the drop came about because the investment side of the business did not see as much profit as in the previous 12 months.

“We take a long-term view of the business, which means we have a strong balance sheet that allows us to do a number of things, such as invest in new sectors,” he said.

The group’s building construction arm saw turnover fall by 16 per cent over the year, while the services business grew by 20 per cent and infrastructure was 5 per cent up.

During the course of 2014/15, the group’s order book grew slightly, from £550m to £590m, although this has since swelled to more than £1bn after NG Bailey secured a number of new contract wins, including a £460m package on the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty.

Mr Hurcomb added: “This is a strong result. We are all aware the economic environment is improving, but we also know that it is taking time to filter through to our industry.

“It’s still tough out there, particularly in building construction. Margins remain under pressure across the supply chain, which is why we seek to avoid bidding for high-risk, low-margin work.

“That said, all our divisions performed profitably, which gives us a strong platform for developing a long-term, sustainable business.”

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