While revenue jumped by a fifth to £507m, margin slipped below the firm’s 3% target to 2%, due to tighter markets conditions and some challenging contracts.
This saw pre-tax profit slide to £10m from a restated £14m. Pre-tax profit from 2017 was adjusted down by £1.8m after a contract review identified extra losses on two legacy contracts.
Looking ahead, the group saw forward orders rise 16% to a record £730m and now has secured close to £470m of £510 targetted sales for this year.
The stronger order book reflected orders for larger-scale sports stadia, with an opportunity pipeline exceeding £4bn.
Group managing director Mike Kempley said: “Looking forward to 2019 and 2020, there is a stable foundation of work that will be delivered by our existing frameworks.
“The continued focus on diversification has provided a number of new and exciting opportunities based on dismantling and asset recovering services, developed over the past 12-18 months, with the potential to provide new long-term opportunities for growth.”
Buckingham’s primary source of workload in the past three years came from general building, civil engineering sectors and the rail industry.
The upturn at the specialist sports and leisure division is now expected to continue for several years.
Revenue at the division climbed to £100m, with Buckingham securing a trio of pre-construction serves agreements, including the new £100m Riverside Stand for Fulham FC and the Swansea Arena.
The improved performance saw year-end cash edge up to £65m.