Murphy suffers £5.8m loss

Aaron Morby 12 months ago
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J. Murphy & Sons suffered a £5.8m pre-tax loss last year, blaming challenging market conditions and problem projects.

CEO John Murphy says 73% of revenue secured for 2020 and 40% for 2021
CEO John Murphy says 73% of revenue secured for 2020 and 40% for 2021

While the firm fell into the red after a £12m profit in 2017, strong performances in the transport and power divisions in the UK and Irish and Canadian operations helped to lift revenue by 4% to £781m.

After his first full year as chief executive, John Murphy said that the business continued to generate positive cashflow, ending the year with cash reserves of £63.3m (2017: £61.9m).

“Despite broader market uncertainty and well-publicised headwinds facing the wider construction and engineering sector, we were able to grow our business and maintain our strong balance sheet,” he said.

He added that loss-making projects had now been worked through and were adequately provisioned.

During the year, the privately-owned civils and process engineering contractor,  continued to invest in order to support the long-term growth

As well as the acquisition of Carillion’s power business this also included significant investment in a new finance system and £20m spent on plant and equipment.

Murphy said: “While our margin performance was disappointing, we increased our cash reserve and invested in the long-term development of our company.

“This investment has put in place new systems and processes that will help us to deliver sustainable growth and cement our position as a specialist engineering and construction company that delivers safely and reliably for its clients.

“Our business continues to benefit from a strong, asset-backed model supported by direct delivery, while our focus on five sectors and three geographies means that we are not overly reliant on any one sector or market.

“We have started the current financial year well, and our robust order book means that we have good revenue visibility underpinning our expectations for 2020 and 2021,” said Murphy.

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