Murphy back in profit after closing-out problem contracts

Grant Prior 4 years ago
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Murphy & Sons Limited returned to profit last year after closing out a series of problem contracts.

Challenging jobs saw the family-owned engineering and construction company suffer a £12.8m loss in 2018 but last year saw a pre-tax profit of £7m as turnover increased by nearly 13% to £880.2m from £779.5m.

CEO John Murphy said: “I’m pleased we made strong progress in 2019, improving our performance to deliver overall growth in the business.

“Across all three geographies, we saw significant improvement in our project performance and proactively took additional provision in the UK to close out some challenging projects.

“Our asset-backed business model, self-delivery capability, with a focus on developing beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients, is key to our success.

“We are well positioned to deliver against our long-term growth plan thanks to our measured and prudent approach to doing business.”

Murphy is hoping the Government makes sustained infrastructure investment a priority in the Covid recovery strategy.

He said: “While the first half of 2020 has presented the whole sector with some significant challenges, our response clearly demonstrated the resilience of our business model.

“Through the Covid-19 lockdown, I am grateful to our teams who have showed significant ingenuity to continue delivering safely, backed by the support of our clients.

“It’s now important that governments make investment in infrastructure a priority, to help create jobs and rebuild our economies.

“We welcome the commitment made by the UK government so far, given the essential contribution the construction sector makes to keep our communities thriving.

“Continued and sustainable investment is even more crucial now as we recover from the challenges of the pandemic.”

Murphy & Sons employs 3,427 of its own staff who deliver projects across a number of infrastructure sectors including water, transportation, construction & property, power and natural resources.

Last year saw the business continue to generate positive cashflow, ending the year with a cash balance of £71.1m.

The company added: “We are well-positioned to deliver our objectives for 2020.

“The challenges posed by Covid-19 reinforces the importance of our business model – asset ownership and self-delivery.

“Our business model, the commitment of our people, the proactive steps to manage the challenges early and a prudent approach to managing our balance sheet have demonstrated the resilience of Murphy.

“The company will continue to focus on pursuing and delivering the right opportunities in its core sectors, taking a disciplined approach to project selection, maintaining a strong balance sheet while investing in the competencies and capabilities needed in its people, and delivering results for customers and partners safely, reliably, sustainably and in line with its values.”

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