The diverse property and construction group that includes Muse, Lovell. Morgan Est and Morgan Ashurst today shrugged off a fall in sales and profits saying it remained well placed.
Revenue for the year to the end of 2009 came in at £2.2bn, down 13% from £2.6bn in 2008. Profit before tax and amortisation was £51.5m, a slump of 28% from £71.4m in 2008.
However, John Morgan, founder and executive chairman of the group, said: "These results reflect a very satisfactory performance in difficult trading conditions. We remain in a strong financial position and are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities which the market will present.
"The markets in 2010 will be similar to those we experienced in 2009 but we remain confident of making good progress throughout the year."
The group remains financially strong with year-end cash of £118m and £100m of committed bank facilities in place through to mid-2012. The group has a forward order book of £3.2bn (2008: £3.7bn). An additional £900m of projects are at preferred bidder stage.
Annualised savings of £38m were achieved over the past two years. Construction and infrastructure services divisions were highlighted for their record results with improved margin performance.
At a glance the group's various divisions performed as follows:
Overbury, fit-out, based in Spring Gardens, Manchester:
- Operating profit £13.8m (2008: £25.8m)
- Revenue of £291m (2008: £474m)
- Margin at 4.7% (2008: 5.4%)
- Order book up 38% to £171m compared with £124m at start of 2009
Morgan Ashurst, construction, Liverpool and Salford:
- Record operating profit up 37% to £13.0m (2008: £9.5m)
- Revenue £743m (2008: £813m) underpinned by public sector spending
- Margin 1.7% (2008: 1.2%)
- Order book of £532m (2008: £805m) complemented by over £300m of projects at preferred bidder stage
Morgan Est, infrastructure, Warrington:
- Record operating profit, up 19% to £17.1m (2008: £14.4m)
- Revenue £770m (2008: £799m)
- Margin 2.2% (2008: 1.8%)
- Order book £1.1bn (2008: £1.4bn) with £600m at preferred bidder stage
Lovell, affordable housing, Altrincham and Wirral:
- Operating profit £14.9m (2008: £21.0m)
- Revenue £374m (2008: £377m)
- Margin 4.0% (2008: 5.6%)
- Order book £1.3bn (2008: £1.3bn)
Muse Developments, urban regeneration, Salford Quays:
- Operating profit of £0.7m (2008: £7.8m)
- Revenue £32m (2008: £84m)
- £520m of new development schemes secured during the year
Morgan Sindall Investments, based in London, invested £19m in schemes with development value exceeding £700m. The directors' valuation of its portfolio stood at £38m in December (2008: £28m). Financial close was achieved on schemes valued at £149m during 2009.
An unchanged dividend is proposed at 42p a share.