Redhall sees improvement in 2019

Manufacturing and services group Redhall said 2018 was a difficult year following project delays, but 2019 is looking a lot better as contracts start to flow through.

Welding taking place on a Redhall site

The Wakefield-based group said revenue from continuing operations rose £5.0m to £37.8m in the year to September 30, but this was down 3 per cent including ceased operations.

Interim CEO Russ Haworth said: “It was a really tough year in 2018. The difficulty we had is the change in schedule was driven by our customers’ customer.

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“We made our first delivery in December and other deliveries were made in January. Projects will unwind going through the year.”

Redhall’s chief financial officer Simon Comer said: “We have some very large infrastructure projects in rail and nuclear. If they had been delivered to schedule the results would have been a lot better, but they slipped and we had put in a lot of upfront costs.”

The group was hit by the well-publicised delays at Crossrail and changes in specification at Hinkley Point nuclear power station.

Mr Haworth said: “There was little we could do to influence things. It is really difficult to predict when we will be back on track, but 2019 should be a lot better than 2018.

“There is a lot of work to do to get the business match fit, but we will be well on our way in 2019.”

Group adjusted operating profit excluding exceptional items was £200,000, significantly lower than the £1.4m reported in 2017.

The order book stood at £21m at the year end, an increase of 20 per cent. This does not include the framework agreement with Cavendish Nuclear, which is expected to be worth up to £18m over the first three years.

The group said market conditions remain encouraging in most of its core sectors and it will benefit from a secure order book and a strong pipeline of opportunities.

“We know that rail infrastructure are some of our big opportunities,” said Mr Comer.

“There are also some defence contracts we are likely to win.”

Analyst John Cummins at WH Ireland said: “With the working capital position expected to reverse in the coming months, the order book at year-end having increased by 20 per cent and a strong pipeline of tender opportunities being presented, the outlook is more encouraging.

“Investors will clearly want to see evidence of sustained progress and much remains to be delivered, but we believe that the potential for Redhall has not gone away if the new management team can successfully execute the strategy.”