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Billington returns to profit in 2013

Structural steel and construction safety specialist Billington has returned to profit in 2013 after a three-year restructuring programme.

In the year ended 31 December 2013, Billington recorded pre-tax profits of £720,000 on a turnover of £37.6m, compared with a pre-tax loss of £455,000 on a turnover of £38.2m in 2012.

Excluding redundancy costs, its adjusted pre-tax profits were £929,000 in 2013, compared with a loss of £133,000 in 2012.

The firm incurred £200,000 in redundancy costs in 2013 as a result of management changes across the business.

Billington said the adjusted pre-tax profit was more than double its expectations at the beginning of the 2013 financial year, thanks to a significantly improved performance in its structural steel business, Billington Structures, which accounts for 84 per cent of group turnover.

It said market conditions remained challenging, but were showing signs of improvement with an increase in tender opportunities and its strongest order book in five years at the start of 2014.

The group has spent three years restructuring its operations, but said it had now completed these activities with its businesses well-positioned to take advantage of improving market conditions.

Its cash balance increased to £2.6m at the end of 2013, compared with £1m at the end of 2012.

Earnings per share for the year increased to 4p, compared with a loss of 3.6p in 2012, however the board decided not to pay a final dividend to preserve cash in the business.

Billington chief executive Steve Fareham attributed the improved financial performance to “the extensive efforts that have been made restructuring all group operations”.

“We have established an appropriate platform from which to serve our customers, while ensuring that we have sufficient capacity and capabilities to exploit growth opportunities as our markets continue to recover.

“We entered the 2014 financial year with the strongest order book the group has had for a number of years and are well placed to exploit opportunities presented in the short-term, in addition to continuing to develop opportunities in new sectors in order to maximise long-term growth potential.”

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