J. Murphy & Sons have posted a £7m pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 December 2019 – bouncing back after 2018’s pre-tax loss of £12.9m.
Announcing its financial results, the UK family-owned engineering and construction company saw revenue growth of nearly 13% to £880.2m (2018: £779.5m), a cash balance of £71.1m (2018: £63.3m), net assets of £211.1m (2018: £204.4m) and an order book currently standing at over £1bn.
In June 2019, the group renewed its committed rolling working capital credit facility of £30m with Lloyds Bank plc for an additional three years, providing additional financial resilience.
The group’s return to profit has been underpinned by strong performances in Ireland and Canada, and key contract wins with clients such as National Grid for London Power Tunnels and Westminster City Council for Oxford Street.
The company says it is “well-positioned to deliver its objectives for 2020”, but is “mindful that there remains some uncertainty given the effects on the economy of the Covid-19 pandemic,” stressing that “there is a need for continued support from governments and regulators to support the sector in playing its part in the recovery by investing in infrastructure and creating jobs.”
Commenting on the results, CEO John Murphy said: “I’m pleased we made strong progress in 2019, improving our performance to deliver overall growth in the business. Across all three geographies, we saw significant improvement in our project performance and proactively took additional provision in the UK to close out some challenging projects.
“Our asset-backed business model, self-delivery capability, with a focus on developing beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients, is key to our success. We are well positioned to deliver against our long-term growth plan thanks to our measured and prudent approach to doing business.
“While the first half of 2020 has presented the whole sector with some significant challenges, our response clearly demonstrated the resilience of our business model. Through the Covid-19 lockdown, I am grateful to our teams who have showed significant ingenuity to continue delivering safely, backed by the support of our clients.
“It’s now important that governments make investment in infrastructure a priority, to help create jobs and rebuild our economies. We welcome the commitment made by the UK government so far, given the essential contribution the construction sector makes to keep our communities thriving. Continued and sustainable investment is even more crucial now as we recover from the challenges of the pandemic.”