Big projects boost Severfield as profits jump

Severfield, Britain’s biggest constructional steelwork contractor, has reported a 5 per cent rise in annual profits after carrying out over 100 projects, including the new stadium for Tottenham Hotspur FC, the retractable roof for Wimbledon No.1 Court and a new commercial tower at 22 Bishopsgate.

Severfield provided steel for Tottenham Hotspur FC's new stadium

The Thirsk-based firm said its UK and Europe order book has jumped to £295m from £230m in November and its new European business has secured its first orders.

Severfield's chief executive Alan Dunsmore said one of the first European projects will be a very high specification building in Sweden.

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"We set up an office in Holland a few years ago and over the last six to nine months, we've started to secure projects. It is helping the existing business to secure more projects in Europe. If you go back three to four years, we were very focused on the UK and Ireland. Now we are a lot more proactive in Europe. All the steel is UK-sourced and supplied."

He said the Holland office opened before the Brexit vote three years ago.

"Brexit might bring border inconvenience, but we don't see it being more than that," he said.

However, the UK market has seen been "slightly softer".

"The slightly softer UK market is something that started to develop at the back end of last year," said Mr Dunsmore.

"We've seen construction soften and clients' decisions are being delayed. It's quite easy to link it with people wanting some decision on Brexit."

In the year to March 31, underlying pre-tax profits rose 5 per cent to £24.7m and the group has raised the total dividend by 8 per cent to 2.8p per share.

"We are pleased to have delivered another year of good performance," said Mr Dunsmore.

"Our UK and Europe order book of £295m contains a healthy mix of projects across a diverse range of sectors and we have made strategic progress in the UK, Europe and India.

The group is starting to see more bidding activity in the London commercial market, a trend which it expects to increase over the next few years.

It is pursuing a number of significant infrastructure opportunities, particularly in the transport sector, which are being driven by theGovernment’s investment in infrastructure commitment, which is targeted to increase over the next few years.

"This will include projects such as HS2, both stations and bridges, and the expansion of Heathrow airport," said Mr Dunsmore.

Severfield is involved with a number of the companies that have been awarded HS2 work.