Fulcrum sees big jump in orders

Fulcrum engineers working on a project
Fulcrum engineers working on a project
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Fulcrum Utility Services, which is gearing up for a big increase in demand for electric cars, has reported a 41 per cent jump in its order book to £60.5m.

The group is in talks with 25 blue chip companies about switching to cleaner, green vehicles.

The Sheffield-based firm, which provides gas and electricity to major sites, is busy installing charge points up and down the country as demand increases for electric vehicles.

In delayed results, the firm said revenue rose 20 per cent to £49m in the year to March 31. Adjusted earnings rose 17 per cent to £10m although pre-tax profit fell from £6.9m to £6m. The results were delayed due to the adoption of IFRS 15 accounting standards.

The board is recommending a final dividend of 1.5p per share resulting in a full-year dividend of 2.25p per share, an increase of 7.1 per cent.

Fulcrum said the dividend reflects the board’s ongoing confidence in the group’s ability to generate cash and its future prospects.

Martin Harrison, CEO of Fulcrum, said: “2019 has been a year of progress for the Fulcrum Group.

“The nature of the UK’s ongoing requirement for investment in its new utility infrastructure networks provides us with long-term prospects for continued growth.“

He said the group remains vigilant of the short term impact of economic and political uncertainty and it expects to see a softening of the infrastructure services market this year.

He said the decision to broaden the group’s range of services, especially electric vehicle charging infrastructure and smart metering installations, will provide long term, sustainable growth opportunities.

Analyst Akhil Patel at Shore Capital said: “Whilst Fulcrum is currently facing headwinds with regards to the continued suspension of the capacity market, operationally it has proven to be resilient. Since March 2018, the order book has sustained its growth, up 41 per cent to £60.5m.

“Our main part of the investment case in October 2018 was Fulcrum’s ability to increase its transportation revenue in terms of utility infrastructure assets, thus providing increasing transportation income which increases the quality of earnings.”

Mr Patel said Fulcrum operates an interesting business model in the utility sector, deploying capital selectively to own critical infrastructure.

“We believe that the sector remains one of great opportunity for investors as utility networks invest for next-generation requirements supporting tightening environmental demands, new housing developments and electric vehicle infrastructure,” he added.

“Looking at the long-term, we continue to believe that Fulcrum offers excellent potential.”