Trading performance, Half Yearly Update with CEO Comment
29/11/19 : At the half year, the Group reported a 25% increase in underlying operating profit and we are pleased to report that trading has continued strongly in the second half of the year. Accordingly, the Board expects the results for the full year ending 31 December 2019 to be in-line with market expectations.
We expect to report an underlying operating profit before interest and taxation of approximately £10m (2018: £8.8m) which is in-line with our stated strategy to achieve our key financial target of an underlying operating margin of 3%.
We have made good progress in replenishing our forward order book, which currently stands at £361m. Reassuringly, revenues of £232m for 2020 have already been secured, against an equivalent figure of £230m at this time last year and up from £182m at the interims. In addition, our teams across the UK are actively negotiating a number of major schemes which provide further visibility for both 2020 and 2021.
Our long-standing, high quality reputation and the strength of the relationships with our blue-chip clients is a key asset for TClarke. Furthermore, our strong balance sheet continues to be a significant differentiator and enables us to win and deliver projects of a scale which positions us well for further growth. We continue to adhere to a strict bidding policy supporting our sustainable operating margin at 3% going forward.
Looking ahead, we approach the new financial year in a strong position, both operationally and financially which gives the Board confidence for the Group’s prospects for 2020 and beyond.
Commenting on the Group’s progress, Group CEO Mark Lawrence said:
“TClarke is never complacent in any way, but there are three aspects of our current business progress that give me satisfaction and confidence.
“Firstly, the flow of current bids and tenders and of new business activity across the Group, gives us reason to remain positive. We also note that all political parties are making infrastructure expenditure and renewal, across housing, healthcare and education, a priority. Secondly, and this is a related point, the continued discipline and effectiveness across the group around our targeted tendering process means we are being successful in focusing our efforts on the right kind of opportunities to achieve our strategic goals. We have a clear strategy and we are applying it consistently.
“Thirdly and most importantly, I note the quality of people we are attracting and retaining in our business, building our resource of people and high-quality teams that define us in the market. Our teams are our crucial market advantage and as we look at the potential of ongoing steady expansion of revenues in the medium term, it is this resource of quality people which will deliver that sustainably.