Van Elle, the UK’s largest independent ground engineering contractor, is issuing the following trading update ahead of the announcement of its results for the year ending 30 April 2019 (“FY2019”), on 24 July 2019.
The Group’s trading performance at the end of FY2019 was largely as anticipated, with profitability in the second half impacted by end-market volatility and project slippages, as set out in the Full Year Trading Update on 25 April 2019. As a result, the Board had expected to report adjusted profit before taxation of slightly over £5m. However, as part of the year end process, the Board has determined it necessary to adjust a small number of specific balance sheet items and contract accruals. Whilst the results remain subject to completion of the audit, these adjustments will adversely impact FY2019 adjusted profit before taxation by a total of c.£0.5m. The Group’s reported year-end net debt position is in line with expectations as at 25 April 2019.
Whilst an update on the outlook for FY2020 will be provided at the time of the results, it should be noted that, despite the encouraging momentum at the end of last year, the Group is continuing to experience customer uncertainty in some of its markets, resulting in a quiet start to the year in some segments and increased volatility in month on month performance. As set out in April, the Group has been successful in securing positions on attractive, long term contracts. Although the Company is seeing the benefits of a number of commercial and operational initiatives recently implemented, the Board is mindful that market uncertainty and the resultant volatility may persist further into the current financial year, which would limit the rate at which progress can be made.