Picking the right contracts pays off for Murphy

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Specialist engineering and civils contractor J Murphy & Sons has posted its latest results with significant rises in both turnover and profits last year.

The contractor is confident of continued  progress this year despite the current economic uncertainty.

Total group revenue was up 14% in 2021 to £1,270m from £1,114m in 2020 while underlying operating profit surged 67% to £21.7m from £13m last time.

A robust order book of  £2.239bn at year-end was up 28% on the previous year providing Murphy with strong visibility over the coming years.

CEO John Murphy said: “These results reflect the strengthening resilience across the Group and the benefits of actions we have taken in recent years to improve contract selectivity, enhance relationships with our key client base, and to focus on  generating a strong cash position.

“We have made significant progress during 2021 in delivering against our ‘Greener Murphy’ climate action strategy and in supporting our clients on the journey to net zero, with continued investment in our operating model, enabling  future transitional benefits to be achieved.

“The quality of our people, client base and the delivery of our secured workload, together with maintaining discipline  in contract selectivity irrespective of economic conditions, remains core to our ongoing success.

“At the year end, we  had a high quality and growing order book of more than £2.239bn, up 28% from the previous year, giving us an  exciting pipeline of opportunities which underpin our confidence for the years to come, as we look to deliver on our  ambition of being the leading family-owned construction business.”

Net cash reserves rose to £216.6m from£173.8m while staff numbers increased from 3,449 to 3,579.

The company added: “While we are mindful of the well-publicised headwinds facing the global economy, the focus and commitment of  our employees, as well as the resilience of our business model, the support of our partners and the quality of our  client relationships, means that Murphy is well placed to deliver on its sustainable growth plans.

“Furthermore, as the global energy sector shifts from fossil-based systems of production and consumption to  renewable energy sources, Murphy is seeing increasing opportunities to support all its customers to deliver net  carbon zero through the energy transition.

“Although the general economic backdrop remains challenging in the face of supply chain and inflationary pressures  as well as wider materials shortages, the performance of the Group in 2021, alongside our strong start to 2022,  means that Murphy remains confident in delivering on its longer-term ambitions.”

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