Renew says future floods could be prevented with investment

Renew's chief executive Paul Scott
Renew's chief executive Paul Scott
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Engineering services group Renew Holdings has been busy working in South Yorkshire to help alleviate the suffering caused by the recent flooding and said future floods could be prevented with further investment.

The Environment Agency plans to invest £2.6bn in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects between 2017 and 2021. The agency estimates that an increase in average annual investment to around £1bn will be necessary each year until 2065 to sufficiently mitigate flooding risk in the UK.

Leeds-based Renew has welcomed the investment, having seen first hand the damage it can do.

Chief executive Paul Scott said: "Floods could be prevented with investment.

"We simply have to crack on. More money will be spent on flood mitigation and we see that as a growth area for the group.

"When an emergency happens, we are there looking at the health of the flood prevention measures. We are in there, making sure they are performing."
Earlier this month, communities in South Yorkshire experienced a month’s worth of rain in a single day.

Renew has a long association with the Environment Agency to deliver important maintenance and improvement works nationally through the Flood and Coastal Risk Management programme where it has framework positions in the North, Central, South West and South East regions over the next four years.

Elsewhere in Yorkshire, Renew recently won new contracts with Yorkshire Water, securing both lots on the £290m AMP7 Minor Civils Framework which will see it carry out

engineering works to existing assets on operational treatment and distribution facilities for the next five years.

Mr Scott said: "The contract with Yorkshire Water commences in early 2020. We are looking at waste and clean water network renewal and maintenance.

"Networks are leaking. That is an obligation that all water companies have to solve it."

Mr Scott was speaking as Renew announced record results for the year to September 30.

Revenue rose 11 per cent to £601m and pre-tax profit leapt 84 per cent to £27m. The group benefited from the£80m acquisition of leading Scottish railway contractor QTS last year, but organic growth rose more than 8 per cent as well.

Renew said its critical infrastructure markets have excellent long-term prospects with growth driven by regulatory requirements. The firm works in areas where the Government, whichever political party forms it, has to spend money in crucial areas like rail, energy and water, where investment cannot be deferred.

Analyst Tom Fraine at Shore Capital said: "We initiated coverage on Renew with a 'buy' recommendation on November 15.

"Key to our investment case is our expectation that investment in transport infrastructure will continue to increase in the long-term as the Government seeks to achieve its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

"Renew is also very well placed, in our view, to benefit from growth in other regulated markets including water infrastructure, nuclear decommissioning, renewable energy and land remediation."

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