Improvements in the US market and a strong Asian business have helped ground engineering specialist Keller to report record revenues for the full financial year last year.
The company recorded its highest ever revenues of £1.3bn – up from £1.13bn last year - and a 67% rise in operating profit, compared to 2011, to £48.3M.
The company also posted a profit in its EMEA region for the whole year, despite recording a loss of £2.8M in its first half results with second profits of £5M to finish the year with an operating profit of £2.2M. Revenues in EMEA in 2012 were down 7% to £358.6M.
“The European market is still difficult,” said Keller CEO Justin Atkinson. “The first quarter of any year is always bad in this sector and the weather last year impacted further on our results.”
In 2012 half of Keller’s EMEA revenues came from its work in Germany, Poland and the UK but Atkinson said that even the market in Poland was difficult in the first half of last year. “In the second half of last year we started to see the benefits of cost cutting carried out and risk management strategies implemented earlier in the year,” he explained. “We also saw the benefits of large projects such as Crossrail and the Victoria Station Upgrade in London and the tunnelling work in Gdansk, Poland start to come on stream.”
According to Atkinson, these major UK projects will also help support the EMEA business in 2013 and he described his forecast for the year as “strong”. Nonetheless, he added that the underlying market in the UK is still difficult and there is a strong bias towards the south east and London.
“The challenge will be to get work in 2014,” he said. “We don’t have any £20M+ major projects in the pipeline for 2014 as yet but we have a number of schemes in the £5M bracket that will help maintain the business,” he said.