Shepherd buoyed by Portakabin

SHEPHERD GROUP, one of Yorkshire’s largest family-owned businesses, saw annual revenues fall 8.3 per cent after taking a more selective approach to contracts.

The Portakabin factory

The York-based company reported sales of £686m and flat earnings of £10.1m.

Shepherd said it maintained a strong balance sheet with net worth of £229m and cash of £84m and no debt.

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Shepherd reduced stocks in legacy residential land and development properties, while increasing investment in its profitable Portakabin division, including its acquisition of Oecon, a German subsidiary for Portakabin.

Portakabin, the group’s primary source of earnings, achieved a strong performance and the results for Shepherd Engineering Services, Shepherd Homes and Shepherd FM were all encouraging, said the company.

Performance at Shepherd Construction and Shepherd Group Engineering was disappointing over the year, but “decisive mitigating action” has been taken, it added.

David Williams, who was appointed group chairman in July, said: “While there are concerns over specific sector and operational issues, the medium term prospects for the group are positive.”

Shepherd celebrates its 125th anniversary next year.