Galliford Try builds on record results

Ken Gillespie, the chief executive of building group Galliford Try's construction division. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Ken Gillespie, the chief executive of building group Galliford Try's construction division. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Construction group Galliford Try has described the 12 months to June 30 as “another record year” and said it was well-placed to achieve, or in some cases exceed, its 2018 strategic targets ahead of schedule.

After the “important” acquisitions of Edinburgh-based Miller Construction and Shepherd Homes, which the group said boosted its opportunities and capacity, it did not rule out further deals if the right opportunity presented itself.

Pre-tax profits grew by 20 per cent year-on-year to reach £114 million, while group revenue jumped by 33 per cent to hit £2.3 billion. Group return on net assets jumped from 20.8 per cent to 23.3 per cent, although net debt swelled to £17.3m, compared with £5.1m year earlier.

The business said the year marked further “excellent” progress towards its strategic targets, under which it is aiming for construction revenues of £1.5bn by 2018. Chief operating officer Ken Gillespie told The Scotsman that this goal could be reached a couple of years ahead of schedule, given that the figure reached £1.3bn in the year to June.

Gillespie added that the company’s order book was robust, having increased to £3.8bn from £3bn in its construction operations, and he described the housing market as currently “strong but sustainable” and not overheating.

However, he added that a skills shortage remains a huge issue for the whole construction industry, particularly in Scotland, and more awareness is needed of the benefits this kind of career can offer.

In terms of further acquisitions, he said the business is “entrepreneurial” and “opportunistic” rather than actively looking to buy, but would consider an attractive offer on the company’s terms, adding: “Never say never.”

Galliford Try secured various major projects during the year, including a place on a multi-billion Highways England framework.