RC frame arm to drive Keltbray growth this year

Keltbray Group’s expansion into new specialist markets helped to lift group revenues past the £400m point for the first time.

The specialist contractor, which has expanded from demolition and decommissioning to offer full remediation, rail, environmental services and reinforced concrete structure solutions, raised turnover 13% to £417.5m.

Keltbray CEO, Brendan Kerr said that pre-tax profits remained stable at £23m, with operating margin slightly down from 6.6% to 5.6% in 2017, due to tightening trading conditions and higher overhead costs reflecting investment in management, systems and infrastructure to manage revenue growth.

Looking ahead, Kerr said: “While we expect the demand for our demolition and civil engineering services to slow down this year, we estimate this reduction to be partially offset by Keltbray Structures, which ended the year with a pipeline of more than £120m worth of work.

“The change in the nature of project spend under Control Period 6 announced by Network Rail has led us to review other markets to diversify our client base for overhead line electrification opportunities.

“As previously announced we are working with Aecon to assist them in the delivery of major overhead line electrification projects in Canada.”

He added: “We remain committed to the UK rail market and the opportunities in Canada will assist us build a more sustainable rail business for the future”.

“We remain committed to our specialist contractor roots and the continuing investment in our self-delivery model which means we employ, manage and train our own employees using our own specialist plant and equipment, but have developed a mitigation strategy to meet the challenging times ahead.

“This will see the group continuing to diversify into specialist services that are aligned to our existing portfolio, and strengthen our position in other construction-related sectors, such as residential, infrastructure, industrial and utilities.”

Keltbray Group

Now directly employs around 1,500 people across the following three business streams

  1. Specialist Contracting Services (SCS): demolition, engineering design, reinforced concrete structures, piling and sheet piling, asbestos management, remediation, waste and soil treatment and supply of plant and haulage services
  2. Rail: civil and rail engineering, permanent way (track), piling, overhead line electrification design an installation, and plant hire.
  3. Services: labour agency hire and recruitment, training and development and occupational health services serving mainly internal companies.

Last year, the SCS business raised revenue 15% from £269m to £311m. This was primarily driven by demolition, civil engineering and piling businesses.

The rail business stream increased turnover by 6% from £100m to £106.5m

[Ref: constructionenquirer.com]

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