Government must secure sensible Brexit deal for UK business, says CEO of NG Bailey

David Hurcomb of NG Bailey
David Hurcomb of NG Bailey
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THE CHIEF executive of one of Yorkshire’s largest privately owned companies has called on the Government to secure a sensible deal for UK businesses from the Brexit negotiations.

David Hurcomb, the CEO of NG Bailey, said there was continued economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the impact it will have on industry. NG Bailey, which is an engineering, IT and facilities services group, has reported a 14 per cent increase in operating profits over the past year and seen its order book break the £1bn milestone.

Figures for the 12 months ending March 2 2018 show operating profits (before exceptional items) rose from £12m to £13.7m. Turnover fell slightly from £500m to £481m. However, Mr Hurcomb said he was optimistic about hitting the £600m turnover mark this year, following the acquisition of Freedom Group since the financial year end.

He added: “Last year, a number of projects we hoped we would win were delayed or cancelled, that impacted us and across the wider market. There is definitely nervousness about the whole economic situation in the run up to Brexit. Outside of residential, the construction sector is challenging at the moment.

“We are in uncharted waters (over Brexit). We hope that common sense will prevail and there will be a sensible deal for business.”

In the last year the group has been involved in some significant projects, including the completion of the mechanical and electrical services at London Bridge, which includes the UK’s most advanced rail control centre.

NG Bailey has also helped to secure Liverpool’s future as a science hub by working to deliver a £25m life sciences centre. The company has also been involved in the second new-build on Newcastle’s £350m Science Central development.

Contracts have also been secured with Liverpool Football Club, Bloomberg and Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), the largest construction project ever undertaken by the University of Manchester.

Mr Hurcomb added: “Our operating performance over the past year shows our strategy continues to deliver strong results and ensures we remain a profitable and robust business.

“We are focused on achieving sustainable growth and leadership in our core markets, and we believe there are some exciting opportunities in defence, energy, data centres and rail over the next year. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We are operating in what is still a challenging environment for construction, with many major contractors feeling the impact.

“Despite this, we are making substantial progress in transforming the shape of the business to ensure we continue to deliver long-term success and are well placed to manage the challenges ahead.

“We have a strong balance sheet and the resources to selectively invest in growth areas. Our people, systems and processes provide a solid platform for the business. This is supported by the continued strength of our forward order book.”

The acquisition of Freedom Group since the financial year-end increases NG Bailey’s capabilities in sectors such as defence and airports.

NG Bailey also said the new acquisition provided an “excellent opportunity” to extend its range of services and develop a presence in the electricity distribution network market. It also increases the group order book to around £1.4bn. NG Bailey employs 3,600 staff, including 950 in Yorkshire.