Fulcrum reports strong order book

Fulcrum Utility Services'‹, which provide'‹s'‹ gas and electricity to major sites around the country including'‹ '‹the Olympic Stadium'‹,'‹'‹ Scottish distilleries'‹ and a large number of housing estates'‹, has reported a 19 per cent jump in half year profits.

Utility infrastructure being installed for an advanced manufacturing centre in Sheffield

The Sheffield-based firm ​reported strong ​growth in ​its​ order book, ​which has risen​ 11​ per cent​ since March to £3​4m.

Martin Harrison, CEO of Fulcrum, said:​ "We are very pleased with trading with record EBITDA.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

"We've got a fantastic team in Sheffield. The half year dividend is up 17 per cent and we are confident in the cash generation so we can return money to shareholders."

He said that the order book is being driven by enhancement of the sales teams, an increase in the number of business development people and an increase in housing contracts.

"It's a combination of people, marketing, web investment and the incentivisation of sales people," he said.

The group said it is now in a strong financial and operational position and the outlook remains positive for the full year.

The ​c​ompany​ provides utility infrastructure services to the residential, commercial and industrial markets throughout the UK.

These range from the design, installation or alteration of utility services for single site properties to large complex multi-site​ ​projects.

I​n the six months to September 30, the group achiev​ed​ a record underlying EBITDA of £4.0m and ​pre-tax ​profit of £3.7m​.

Notable contract wins ​over the half year include​ a £2.4m project to deliver new gas infrastructure to three Short Term Operating Reserve​ ​sites across the UK. These

sites will convert gas to electricity at times of peak demand​.

"We have another eight to 10 contracts in the order book. There are great opportunities here," said Mr Harrison.

It also won a £800,000 contract to provide multi-utility services to a commercial development in Nottinghamshire​ and​ a £400,000 project to convert a Scottish distillery from its existing fuel source to natural gas with the installation of a 1.8km gas​ ​pipeline​.

After providing electricity connections for a number of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging projects, the ​c​ompany is now​ ​expanding its service to provide an end-to-end EV charging infrastructure solution. ​Fulcrum sees this as an evolution of its existing electricity infrastructure provision in an exciting and growing​ ​market, which will be further bolstered by the 2017 budget announcement of a £400m fund for a national charging network and​ ​subsidies for vehicle purchases.

A​nalyst Guy Hewett at finnCap said: "Fulcrum has reported strong progress in ​the first half with sales up 8.3​ per cent​ and pre-tax profit up 19.4​ per cent​ to £3.7m​.

​"​This result puts positive pressure on our ​full year​ 2018 forecasts.

​"​Investment into utility assets (where a secure, low-risk and attractive return is earned) is set to increase and the group is reviewing potential options to increase its debt facility to support this.

​"​Services offered continue to expand, with Fulcrum now providing an end-to-end electric vehicle charging infrastructure solution. With Fulcrum offering a high quality and differentiated service in large markets, we retain our positive stance on the shares.​"​