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Breedon Group set to meet 2017 market expectations

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Breedon Group Plc has announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ending 30 June 2017. In 1H17, the company sold 7.9 million t of aggregates, 0.9 million t of asphalt, and 1.7 m3 of ready-mixed concrete.

The former Breedon Aggregates business has a strong profit improvement during the period, including a robust contribution from former Hope Construction Materials. An underlying EBIT margin of 15.8% was achieved in the former Breedon Aggregates business, comfortably ahead of its 2020 target of 15%. Further progress was made on safety improvement, with the lost time injurt frequency rate reduced from 1.87 in 2016, to 1.41 in 1H17. Net debt was reduced to £146.8 million. Both cement kiln maintenance and upgrade shutdowns were completed in the first half of the year, on time and to budget, while the integration of former Hope operations was also completed, with planned synergies expected to be fully delivered in 2018, ahead of schedule. Breedon Group also acquired Pro Mini Mix, and further bolt-on acquisitions are in the pipeline. Organic development is underway in two new quarries in Scotland and County Durham. Breedon remains confident that it will meet market expectations for 2017.

Peter Tom CBE, Executive Chairman, commented: “I am pleased to report that in the first half of 2017 the former Breedon Aggregates business posted a strong profit improvement and the former Hope Construction Materials business made a robust contribution, even after taking into account the shutdowns of both our cement kilns for planned annual maintenance and upgrade during the first half, which were completed on time and to budget.

“Although the outcome of the General Election, coupled with the commencement of Brexit negotiations, have created some further uncertainty for the UK economy, the outlook for UK construction remains encouraging. It is reassuring that the Government’s direction of travel appears to be moving away from continued austerity towards fiscal stimulus, which can only be helpful to our industry.

“We have consistently demonstrated our ability to generate value for our shareholders irrespective of economic conditions, through flexible and imaginative customer service, rigorous cost control, focused investment and a culture of continuous operational improvement. These disciplines, coupled with a strong balance sheet and healthy cashflow, put us in a strong position to take advantage of future growth opportunities, both organically and through further bolt-on acquisitions.

“More immediately, our performance in the first six months and our prospects for the second half give us confidence that we will meet 2017 market expectations.”

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