Howard Grant, managing director, comments: “The 12 month period ending April 2009 was witness to an unprecedented downturn in the construction sector. The downturn was started and exacerbated further by the deep-rooted international banking crisis. As a consequence, Unimer faced its most challenging trading period in living memory. Each way we turned there were bad news and negative business trends. However, the Unimer team battled through to produce a very commendable set of results given the adverse trading environment throughout the year.”
In the year Unimer processed transactions with a total value of £739m which was 13.6% down on the previous year’s record performance. This performance stands good comparison in a sector that has seen the heavyside players recording much greater downturns in business. The reduced throughput also reflected in a declining gross margin, which was further enhanced by the decline in interest earned.
Mr Grant concludes: “The outlook remains challenging with most forecasters now agreeing that we may have reached the bottom of the downturn, but that sector activity will not increase over the remainder of 2009 and any upturn will not really be visible until the spring of 2010. We will continue to add value for both our merchant membership and our supply base and we look forward positively to 2010, a year which will mark the 75th anniversary of Unimer.”