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Steel group sees 'distant' recovery

Construction market recovery in the UK “remains distant”, structural steel group Severfield-Rowen has said in its interim management statement.

Severfield-Rowen said it had continued to perform well in the UK “despite sentiment remaining subdued given the economic and sector backdrops”, with all its operations fully loaded. Its UK order book stood at £216 million.

The statement said: “Notwithstanding our identified prospects, we remain cautious about the timing of UK economic and construction sector recoveries.”

It added: “While full year results are anticipated to show a marginal improvement over 2011 and improved cash generation during the year, the timing of key projects will place a greater weight towards the second half of the year.

“In the UK, we…remain of the view that recovery in our markets is still distant.”

The company’s Indian operation JSW Severfield Structures had made “robust commercial progress”, the statement said, with an order book worth £36m and a pipeline of prospects approaching £100m. 

In India, “the market is listening to and understanding our value proposition, prospects are becoming more numerous and, we are, accordingly becoming more selective in our choice of business”, it said.

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