Galliford Try sees recovery

Published:  15 September, 2011

UXBRIDGE: Galliford Try has seen the first signs of a private sector recovery in construction work, which helped to offset sharp falls in public sector work this year.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive, Galliford Try said: "We have seen signs of limited improvement in the private sector market particularly in the commercial and hospitality sectors."

The firm warned pressure on construction margins remained intense, but said growth in commercial and hospitality work had helped its construction business to ride out the worst effects of public spending cuts.

As a result construction managed to hold revenues at £937m and keep margins at 2.3% in the year to June 30. Galliford Try reported group pre-tax profits doubling to £41.7m, driven by strong growth in housing and a one-off £6.6m payment after the OFT slashed its cover pricing fine.

Turnover grew 5% to £1.3bn as house building grew sharply with new sites coming on stream and completions passed the 2,000 mark.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive, said that the firm was on course to achieve its ambition of strong volume growth to become a top five house builder, producing 4,000 homes a year.

He said: "We exceeded our profit expectations during the year as growth in housebuilding accelerated in the second half, testimony to our strategic focus on southern England. We also maintained a higher than anticipated margin in construction.

"As a result we enter the final year of our three year transformational expansion plan for housebuilding in a strong position to deliver on the objectives we set for 2012 and to drive further growth thereafter."

He added that the construction market had held up longer than expected, but warned the effect of public sector spending constraints was impacting the construction's future pipeline of work and continuing to drive further "intense competitiveness".

"Our strategy has held up well with a maintained margin of 2.4%, excellent cash balances generated from our construction activities and a year end order book of £1.75 billion.

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