Thursday, December 1 2022

Keller’s chief executive hailed his company’s record performance in the first half of this year, despite “the world [going] to hell in a purse” during the period.

In the six months to the end of June, the ground engineering specialist recorded worldwide revenues of £1.33 billion, an increase of 36% on the £984.1 million recorded in the first half of 2021.

It posted a pre-tax profit of £32.7m for the period, down from £29.2m.

Although a UK-based company, Keller does most of its business elsewhere. Its revenue in Europe was £297.6m for the period, up from £244m last year.

The company’s earnings statement credited its ability to respond to the disruptions unleashed by the war in Ukraine as a driver of its positive results. This included a “significant escalation in supplier and energy prices” and “downtime” created by interrupted delivery of materials.

He also noted the UK division’s “continued good delivery” of its contract with HS2.

Keller Group Chief Executive Michael Speakman said Building News the company has weathered recent economic challenges well and is confident for the rest of the year.

“We are collectively very satisfied with the results of the first half. The world, over the past six months, has gone to hell in a purse in many different macroeconomic ways – and it certainly wasn’t the year we anticipated when we put together a budget last year.

“But, nonetheless, the various elements of the business and the management within the business responded well to everything thrown at them, and we ended a half year with a record first half and [a] solid order book, which really supports the second half.

The earnings statement added that “market demand” helped offset economic challenges posed by “the availability of raw materials and labor,” caused in part by rising inflation and the war in Ukraine.

It also said it passed on a “significant part of cost increases in the form of higher prices” to customers to preserve profits.

Keller also announced a record order book of £1.6 billion. This includes a £50million contract to help build a new megacity in Saudi Arabia, known as the ‘Neom project’, secured in June. The work will bring “hundreds of millions of pounds” in income in the future, the group said.

Speakman said the company could gain “a lot of confidence” from its backlog, and its priorities for the second half included a focus on execution in North America and preparing for the start of Neom work.

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