Clugston, the privately owned Group of companies, which has interests in construction, facilities management, logistics and property development, has announced its second successive set of record breaking financial results. The Group, which was founded in 1937, ended its latest financial year by delivering a 26% jump in turnover to £231m from £183m in the previous year, whilst pre-tax profit rose 5% from £6m to £6.3m.
In recognition of another outstanding set of results, the directors will be recommending, at the AGM to be held later this month, the payment of a final dividend of 15p per share, thereby increasing the total dividend for the year by 14% to 25p.
Stephen Martin, Group Chief Executive of Clugston, said: “I am delighted to be announcing our best ever set of results. We have substantially increased turnover, improved pre-tax profits, generated excellent cash balances and further strengthened our balance sheet. Our success is dependent upon the strong commitment and determination of all Clugston employees. On behalf of the Clugston Group Board, I would like to thank them all for their dedication and hard work. I would also like to acknowledge the continued support of our customers, supply chain partners and shareholders.”
Clugston’s strategy of concentrating on core sectors, whilst seeking opportunities in niche markets, has resulted in growth across all its activities.
The Construction division experienced an increase in turnover of 40% to £136.7m from £97.5m. It is the third consecutive year of growth in excess of 30% for the division, which continues to deliver exceptional results, despite challenging market conditions.
Clugston’s success has been achieved by a combination of adhering to a selective bidding strategy and effective project management, with robust risk control procedures. Clugston has also remained focused on core sectors such as Energy from Waste, where it has achieved a market leading position through its joint venture with French Process specialist CNIM. During the year the partnership secured and started work on major Energy from Waste facilities in Leeds and the North East, bringing to eight the number of schemes to be jointly delivered.
Clugston Construction also continues to secure contracts in the health, education, and industrial sectors. In addition, during 2013, the division opened a new regional business in the West Midlands.
The Facilities Management business, established to provide whole lifetime care to support its customers’ buildings and estates, continued to extend its range of services and build on its base in the health and industrial sectors.
Clugston Distribution Services, the Group’s logistics division, had another successful year delivering a 21% increase in turnover from £10.9m in the previous year to £13.2m. Growth focused on several diverse markets such as fuel, bulk food, ash powder and intermodal, as well as strengthening its customer base. The division is continuing to forge ahead with nationwide expansion plans, opening new depots in Haydock and Reading. It also recently announced a £2.2 million investment in fleet renewal and expansion.
With fuel costs and environmental considerations a key concern, the logistics business continued to make significant investments in fuel economy technology designed to optimise driver behaviour and reduce carbon emissions.
Clugston’s property division also performed well, seeing significant signs of recovery in a number of sectors. Activity increased on several projects including Barmston Developments’ scheme at Turbine Business Park in Sunderland. A 56,000 sq ft managed workspace was signed-off by Sunderland City Council and a plot of land was sold to Cloverleaf Restaurants, which has now opened a public house on the site. There still remains further land to develop at Turbine Business Park for uses such as warehousing, offices, hotels and retail.
A new joint venture has been entered into with Park Row Limited to acquire a 26,000 sq ft prime office block located on Park Row in Leeds. The property has now been let on a 15 year lease to the University of Law.
Clugston won a number of prestigious awards during the year, including a British Safety Council National Safety Award for the 32nd consecutive year and an Order of Distinction by RoSPA, in recognition of receiving the President’s Award for 15 consecutive years. The construction division has also been shortlisted for several awards at next month’s Construction News Awards, including the top award of ‘Contractor of the Year’, a category in which it was highly commended in 2013.
Stephen Martin, Clugston Group chief executive concluded: “During the past year we have continued to successfully deliver services and projects to our established customers and further build on our expertise in key sectors. We now have solid foundations on which to continue to develop. Whilst we believe 2014 will continue to be challenging, with our main markets still remaining highly competitive, we remain confident for the future.”