Project delays lead to fall in Clugston's revenues

Bob Vickers, the CEO of Clugston GroupBob Vickers, the CEO of Clugston Group
Bob Vickers, the CEO of Clugston Group
THE Clugston group today said it had produced strong results in a challenging year, when its performance was hit by project delays.

The privately-owned firm, which has offices in Scunthorpe and Leeds, recorded a £1m pre-tax profit on a turnover of £118.2m for the financial year 2016-17.

The group said that, as a result of a number of delayed projects, which have now started, turnover was down 18 per cent from £143.4m in 2016. However, the group maintained a “robust” balance sheet with cash reserves of £18.1m, Clugston said.

The pre-tax profit for the previous year was £2.2m.

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The business, which has operations in construction, property development, logistics and facilities management, said it had built up a healthy forward order book, together with a strong pipeline of new opportunities.

Construction, which recorded a turnover of £101.6m, delivered projects over a wide range of sectors, with significant building work secured and delivered in education, extra care, and retail.

During the year, these projects included the IKEA store in Sheffield, the company’s largest ever retail project, and the completion of one of the first new Jaguar Land Rover showrooms for Duckworth JLR in Boston.

The spokesman said: “Meanwhile, civil engineering projects continued apace in the energy from waste sector, where major developments were completed at Leeds and Wilton, and new contracts started during the year in Kent and in Deeside, North Wales.”

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It also returned to the water sector, after securing work at Yorkshire Water’s Knostrop Works through Black and Veatch.

During the year, the facilities management division secured new contract work for Siemens at Green Port in Hull, where the construction division recently completed the maintenance support building at a manufacturing site for offshore wind turbines.

The division also renewed a contract to provide support services to Vivergo, at the company’s largest biodiesel refinery at Salt End in Hull.

Clugston’s logistics division maintained a “strong” turnover of £16.1m, with operating profit reducing marginally by £0.2m, reflecting challenging trading conditions in the sector, the company said.

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The division’s petroleum operation expanded further, with 18 vehicles now in service and an additional three vehicles being delivered in summer 2017.

The bulk food fleet has also secured new clients in the North West, South East and Midlands, with plans to expand the fleet size during 2017.

The group said that continued investment in the commercial vehicle maintenance facilities at its North Lincolnshire central operations centre has enabled the logistics business to extend the range of services it provides to fleet operators in the Region.

Clugston’s property division was involved in transactions at Redhouse Interchange, where it completed the sale of 17 acres of land to an occupier, after gaining planning permission for a 300,000-square foot warehouse.

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As part of the deal, the property division has entered into a development agreement to construct the warehouse, leaving the company with 2.8 acres of land which is now under offer.

Bob Vickers, Clugston’s recently appointed chief executive, commented: “Whilst a challenging year, primarily due to delayed projects, our strong results are a reflection of the quality of our people across the group.

“We have delivered another strong financial performance, with solid profitability, substantial cash balances of £18m and no bank borrowings.

“The forward direction of the group will continue to focus on key relationships with our customers, ensuring we maintain standards of service that exceed expectation, to further reinforce the reputation Clugston has built over 80 years of trading.

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“We remain very positive about the opportunities to grow the business, and with a forward order book already secured sufficient to generate a turnover in excess of £170m this current term, we are well positioned to capitalise on the growth potential in our target markets, with a substantial pipeline in place for the following years.”