Construction materials supplier Breedon Group increased pre-tax profits by 30% year-on-year in the first half of 2019.
Announcing its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019, the Great Britain and Ireland-based group said that an improved performance had been delivered across its business. Profit before tax in H1 2019 reached £39.5m, up from £30.4m in the first half of 2018.
Revenue increased in H1 by 18% to £447.4m (H1 2018: £378.4m), and underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) totalled £49.5m (up by 18% from £42.0m in H1 last year).
Underlying basic EPS (earnings per share) was up by 4% to 2.03 pence from 1.96 pence, while net debt fell by 10% to £343.7m from £383.6m in H1 2018.
Breedon Group sold 9.9 million tonnes of aggregates in the six months to 30 June 2019 (30 June 2018: 9.3 million tonnes), 1.4 million tonnes of asphalt (30 June 2018: 1.2 million tonnes), 1.5 million cubic metres of ready-mixed concrete (30 June 2018: 1.6 million cubic metres), and 1.0 million tonnes of cement (30 June 2018: 0.9 million tonnes).
The group said its results benefitted from a full six-month contribution from Lagan, the Northern Irish building materials group it acquired for £455m in 2018. Breedon added that July had started well and the medium-term market outlook remains positive, with the board remaining confident of meeting full-year expectations.
Breedon Group chief executive Pat Ward commented: “We are pleased once again to be reporting an improved performance by the Group in the first half. The period began well, with benign weather in the first quarter and generally healthy demand for our products, particularly in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, somewhat offset by fewer large projects in Scotland. Our performance in the second quarter was adversely impacted by lower volumes in Great Britain due to a flat construction market, ongoing project delays and competitive trading conditions. However demand in Ireland remained robust.
“Despite the near term uncertainties, July has started well and enquiry levels in Great Britain are encouraging, giving us confidence in a stronger second half. We have a healthy acquisition pipeline, the medium-term outlook for our markets is positive and the Board remains confident of meeting full year expectations.”
This article first appeared on our sister title Aggregates Business.