Bardsley reports growth in profits

Michael Hunt

Bardsley Construction has reported a rise in profit despite the deepest recession in the industry since the 1930s.

In the 18 months ending 31 December 2009, the Manchester-based business achieved a profit before tax and exceptional items of £3.3m, compared with £1.1m for the previous year ending June 2008.

The company said it represented a 100% increase in the comparable 12 month period.

Turnover for the 18 month period ending 31 December 2009 was £85.6m, which it said is an equivalent 12 month period value of £57.1m which rose slightly compared to £57m in the previous reporting period.

Bardsley said the business remains cash generative and has net cash of £3.9m on its balance sheet as at the 31 December 2009, compared to £1.1m on 31 June 2008.

Stephen Purkis, group finance director of Bardsley Construction, said: "We are pleased with our financial performance and our strong balance sheet. When many companies have failed due to working capital difficulties, we have de-risked our balance sheet and have increased our cash balance by £2.8m."

The financial reporting period has been extended to 18 months because of a business review ahead of a corporate restructuring in 2010 which will split the contracting and development business into two distinct divisions.

Wayne BardsleyWayne Bardsley, chairman of Bardsley Construction, added: "As with any business, Bardsley faces risks and uncertainties but by identifying and managing these risks we were able to improve our performance.

"These outstanding results prove the resilient and robust nature of our portfolio of businesses in the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s.

"We are reaping the rewards of taking immediate action to address risks posed by the recession. We have controlled our overheads, improved our margins and secured larger contracts."

Bardsley said a decision to focus on education and social housing in anticipation of the decline in private housing construction produced a particularly strong performance in those areas.

The firm believes that its decision to split its contracting and development businesses will protect it from forthcoming Government spending cuts in sectors such as higher and further education.

Bardsley added: "We forecast that this well funded sector would come under increasing pressure and expected the size of projects to be reduced – but we aim to benefit from that reduction in size because smaller contracts will preclude a number of larger contractors. We are working on innovative mechanisms to exploit these opportunities."

Bardsley has a £63m pipeline of secured work for 2010, which it said represented about 79% of anticipated annual turnover for that year, and has been appointed to three further social housing and education sector contracts. This will show an increase in turnover on the 2009 result of 14%.

The firm said almost 80% of its contract workload is repeat business and the company has achieved a record of 130 consecutive on time contract completions over the past seven years.

Bardsley Construction said it places an emphasis on partnerships with public sector clients including local authorities, education bodies, housing associations and health authorities.

The company undertakes design and build and traditional contracts via partnering arrangements with education and housing association consortia, guaranteeing a significant share of projects with a combined value well in excess of £1bn.

The company said its private residential housing construction business saw a reduction in activity as part of the wider decline in the market but it has re-started construction work on executive housing at Dukinfield Golf Club, The Boatyard at Worsley and King Edward Court at Hyde. Of the 41 units at the three schemes, 28 units or 68% have been sold/exchanged or reserved.

The business has maintained its 213 staff during the downturn.

The firm said it recently opened an office in Leeds, its first regional office, to cater for an increase in business in Yorkshire and plans to establish a permanent presence on Merseyside this year.

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