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May Gurney turnover tops £300m for year

FINANCE Exceptional income helps drive profits as focus on construction services pays off

MAY GURNEY'S acquisition of Cornish utilities contractor TJ Brent helped lift the East Anglian-based firm's turnover by a quarter last year to a record £302 million.

Unidentified exceptional income from non-contract work also helped lift pre-tax profits to just short of £13 million in the year to March 2005 from £8.8 million at May Gurney, which bought £90 million-turnover Brent in June 2004.

Chief executive David Sterry said: 'Four years ago we resolved to create an integrated construction services business.

'Our philosophy is to prioritise long-term customer relationships and through this achieve reliable and sustainable growth in terms of cash flow and profitability.'

Since acquiring TJ Brent May Gurney has set up a utilities services division to work on waste water, gas and electricity work and has won work with Cambridge City Council, Thames Water and National Grid Transco.

May Gurney bought out street lighting contractor T Cartledge in 2002 and the group's highways services operation is maintaining 290,000 street lights from East Sussex to Redbridge in London.

The firm is growing its rail services operation and retention of a five-year structures contract from Network Rail covering north-east London should bring in a total of £25 million.

Mr Sterry said: 'In recognition of the completion of our transformation from a regional construction business into an integrated provider of construction services, we have rebranded the entire business in a manner that will enable us to portray the scale of services that we now provide throughout much of the UK.'

Operating profits before goodwill and tax hit £11 million, with margins up from 3.5 per cent to 3.7 per cent.

The latest results are the sixth successive year of growth at May Gurney.

The company was bought out by a management team led by Mr Sterry in 2001.