Forward planning: Andrew and David Laver.

Solid results for Laver

Published:  18 May, 2009

SKEGNESS: Arnold Laver & Co announced a 21% increase in profits to £6.4m for the year up to June 2008. The national company's timber, leisure and property divisions contributed to a combined turnover of £111m.

Arnold Laver Timber World, which has 13 branches across the country, saw turnover grow by 5% for the year, despite a reduction in sales to private housebuilders in the final quarter, when compared to the previous year.

The leisure division, based in Ingoldmells, Skegness, has continued its investment programme of upgrading the caravan parks it operates to ensure it takes advantage of more people taking holidays in the UK.

The division's parks remained at 100% occupancy throughout the financial period and "contributed significantly to the increase in overall profits", said the company, adding that the division continues to trade very well despite the current economic backdrop.

Arnold Laver's property division continued to progress a number of major development schemes. The £350m Waterside scheme in Chesterfield saw the construction of a new canal basin adjacent to the town's railway station. In addition, key infrastructure works have been carried out to enable further development to continue, once detailed planning permission is in place.

In Sheffield, the retail development in the heart of the Heeley district centre is nearing completion, with part of the development, a flag ship Lidl store, due to open in June this year.

In the financial year to June 2008, the property division performed well with its income coming from ongoing, long-term rental agreements from investment properties. There were no significant property disposals during the year.

Managing director Andrew Laver, said: "As expected, with the national economy entering into recession, there has been a fall in turnover during the second part of 2008 for the timber division. We have, however, maintained our full depot network and continue to service our customers nationally on a daily basis. This includes daily deliveries to the Olympic Village, where we are a nominated supplier to the Olympic timber supply panel.

"We are forecasting that the private construction market will remain tough for the next year or so. However an analysis of our customer base shows approximately half are focused on public-sector market sectors.

"These sectors include the construction of schools and hospitals, all of which are forecast to continue growing over the next three years," Mr Laver commented.

The timber division has also been active in developing long-term preferred supplier agreements with major civil engineering contractors who operate in these growth market sectors. These partnerships we are developing will serve the business well in the years ahead.

"There is no doubt that 2009 will be a challenge for everyone in the construction industry. The actions we have taken to expand the business into growth sectors of the industry will ensure that we are well positioned to continue on our growth path as the economy eventually pulls out of recession."

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