Van Elle, the UK’s leading ground engineering contractor, has announced its recovery strategy following the impact of the global pandemic.
The plan was set out in the company’s 2020 year end results, which have been severely affected by the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and difficult market conditions during the last financial year.
Mark Cutler, Chief Executive Officer at Van Elle, said: “These results reflect a challenging trading environment that persisted for much of the year and which was significantly exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19.
“Our strategy remains unchanged: improving the operational performance of the business whilst developing positions for differentiation and growth with key customers in the housing, infrastructure and construction sectors.
“Despite the market conditions, we made good progress in the delivery of this strategic plan. The restructuring programme has been completed, with a streamlined divisional structure now in place. This, combined with the strengthened financial position following the successful share placing in April, means that the group is better positioned to return to growth as markets improve.”
Van Elle’s 2020 year end results outlined that revenue was reduced by five percent on FY19 to £84.4m and a small underlying loss at operating level of £0.3m and underlying profit before tax of £0.9m loss.
The Group saw a drop in revenues of circa £10m in March and April, dropping to only 20% of normal revenues in April due to the pandemic. Despite the loss, Van Elle has strengthened its balance sheet and cash position to £12.2m and grown net assets from £42.1m to £45.2m.
In April 2020, Van Elle announced a £6.3m share placing to raise funding to help manage the impact of Covid-19 as well as supporting business growth.
In responding to the Mark Cutler praised the attitude and dedication of Van Elle’s employees.
He said: “I am extremely thankful to all our employees for their professionalism and commitment as we worked through the last five months. Our teams have been flexible in adapting to the changed working methods in the construction sector. Importantly, Van Elle has retained its skill-base and capacity to be able to respond to recovering demand.
“Throughout this challenging period the group is also grateful for shareholder and UK government support and, with an improved cash position, now has liquidity headroom to support future growth.
“FY2021 has started encouragingly, with activity levels recovering slightly ahead of our expectations and we look forward, subject to no further significant business interruptions arising from any further Covid-19 disruption, to returning to full operational capacity by the end of Q3 FY2021.”