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NG Bailey doubles profit and grows revenue

NG Bailey’s turnover has broken the £500m mark while operating profit has doubled in its latest full year.

Commenting ahead of its annual results announcement, the M&E and facilities services company said it had secured turnover of £500m for the year to 24 February 2017, up from £408m the previous year.

Operating profit hit £12m, it added, double the £6m reported in its previous full-year results.

Chief executive David Hurcomb told Construction News the firm’s order book – including work at Hinkley Point C where the firm is part of a joint venture with Balfour Beatty on the electrical package – was now in excess of £1bn.

He added that the group’s diversification strategy had helped mitigate risk across the business, although he admitted the company had seen a number of project cancellations in the past six months.

“We saw about £50m just postponed or cancelled, and another £50m went back out to market or is being procured in a different way to try to take cost out.”

On Hinkley Point, Mr Hurcomb said the firm was still “working up budgets” with EDF as the project’s design is being developed, but declined to comment on this week’s statement by client EDF Energy that the project’s cost could rise by £2.2bn.

Mr Hurcomb said NG Bailey was continuing to invest £3m a year in its training and development programme and had extended the range of qualifications the firm provides, but added he was “frustrated” with the government’s new apprenticeship levy.

“We’re getting to grips with what it means but, to be blunt, it means a net additional cost,” he said.

“We have been a long-term investor in people, and we’re a bit annoyed that businesses that have always been doing this [skills investment] are effectively being taxed.”

Mr Hurcomb added “the intent” of the levy was right but called for changes to the government’s education system to encourage more people into construction.

“The way the education system is set up, it wants more people to go to university, which I think is wrong.”

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