Morrisroe Group suffers its first trading loss

Diversified concrete, demolition and piling contractor Morrisroe has suffered its first major trading loss as a group after concrete and rebar price hikes squeezed fixed-price jobs.

Traditionally star performers within the group A J Morrisroe & Sons, Kingscote Plant and GSS Piling all plunged into the red.

Turnover at the Hertfordshire-based group remained broadly static at around £204m in the year to October 2022.

But materials price inflation caught Morrisroe on fixed-price work and dragged the group to pre-tax loss of £6.9m, after a £2.4m profit in the prior year.

Chief executive Brian Morrisroe said that over the period primary materials which represented 40% of contract sums skyrocketed with the cost of rebar soaring 130%, concrete jumping 26% and plywood up 25%.

He said the group’s integrated offer from demolition to foundations and concrete frame was gaining traction with Tier 1 contractors.

Based on a present group pipeline of £388m of work, he predicted Morrisroe revenue would resume growth this year reaching around £225m

“I am positive about the future, with our exposure to fixed price contracts signed in 2021 and 2022 having been completed in the trading period or expected to be completed in the period ending October 2024,” he said.

“In future we expect our integrated offer to generate growth in revenue for both our demolition and piling businesses and we will continue to take measured risk to facilitate sustainable growth in other areas of the business.”

He added: “Our ability to see key trends and opportunities and respond quickly gives us confidence in our ability to weather the economic downturn in the UK and the resulting slowdown in some sectors of the property and construction market.

“We are correctly positioned for the new growth areas having demonstrated a strong capability for sustainable design and construction, particularly in relation to retrofit projects as well as projects with ambitious and innovative reuse and repurposing objectives.

“We have been able to convert a number of opportunities in the commercial office sector as well as in the health sector.

Over the course of the testing year, cash at bank slipped to £27m from £38m.



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