Cape engineers 48% jump in annual profits

Industrial services group Cape, which last week sealed a £37.7 million deal to buy engineering contractor Motherwell Bridge, today reported a surge in profits for 2013 as improved margins overcame a fall in revenues.

The group posted an adjusted operating profit of £41m, up from £27.7m in 2012, on revenues 6.6 per cent lower at £697.1m.

Chief executive Joe Oatley said: “Improved operational performance drove enhanced margins and we expect that trend to continue in 2014.”

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North Lanarkshire-based Motherwell Bridge specialises in building storage tanks for the energy industry and also maintains gasholders for the steel sector.

Oatley said the acquisition was a key element of Cape’s growth strategy, “extending the range of critical industrial services we offer to our clients”.

He added: “We will continue to pursue both organic and acquisitive growth and I am confident that by combining this growth with our on-going focus on operational excellence, Cape will deliver long-term value creation to our shareholders.”

The board proposed holding the final dividend at 9.5p a share, to be paid on 6 June, leaving the full-year payout unchanged at 14p.