Robertson Group has delivered a record year of turnover as well as its strongest ever forward order book, totalling £2.3 billion.

Releasing its audited accounts to March 2017, the Stirling-based infrastructure, support services and construction group reported a 28% increase in turnover to a record £580 million, and profit before tax of £26m, an increase of 22% on the prior year.

With continued and sustainable growth across its 21 diverse infrastructure based businesses, most notably in its Construction, Major Projects and Partnership Homes divisions, the group has added further value to its already strong balance sheet, with net worth increasing by 34%.

The group also enjoyed a £64.4m net cash position at the year end.

Bill Robertson, executive chairman of Robertson Group, said: “We are delighted with the continued progress across all of our 21 operating companies. The group has now started delivering on its new five-year strategic plan with a strong focus on sustainability, innovation and productivity. The continued success of the group will be based on generating sustainable and appropriate returns for any work undertaken.

“We are delighted to have the visibility, capability and strong capital base from which to deliver high-quality projects and services to our existing and potential clients into the future. The shareholders of Robertson Group are fully committed to the long-term investment and sustainability of the business.”

Robertson currently employs over 2,200 people across the UK, having increased employee numbers by 300 in the last 12 months. This figure is expected to grow by a further 5% in the year ahead, with a strong emphasis on supply chain, direct employment and apprenticeships.

It was recently awarded a Gold accreditation from Investors in People in recognition of the group’s ongoing investment in apprenticeships, internships, school leavers and graduates. The group currently employs 207 employees under the age of 24, including 52 apprentices, 53 trainees and 13 graduates.

The group said: “Robertson Group is well positioned and structured for the long term, and is fully aware that over the recent decades, direct employment and training by major players in the industry has fallen consistently to a point where the shortfall is being made up from an over-reliance on subcontractors.

“Against the background of a shrinking skilled labour shortage, this is no longer sustainable in a competitive and constantly evolving marketplace and it will be up to the major players in the industry to encourage regrowth of direct employment and training.

“Due to the changed source of funding in projects for both private and public sectors in our market, the group Board believes that healthier margins achieved by companies in our sector will be a requirement of participation by funders and investors in major new projects and businesses. Our group structure will therefore continue to focus on a growing return on capital and improving the risk profile of our projects in preference to growth in volume.”

Construction

Robertson Construction’s regional business model operates sustainable local relationships with public and private-sector clients, supported by its scale, expertise, track record and breadth of product offering from the wider group. The group added one new business in the year concentrating on the East of Scotland operating from a new base in Edinburgh. The record growth in Construction in the regions has been assisted by the successful delivery of projects from two key public sector frameworks – hub East Central Scotland and Scape.

The group has secured a position on Scape Group’s four-year £750m Major Works Scotland framework, which will deliver projects with a value of £2m to £20m for any Scottish public-sector body. This framework has a strong track record of delivering high-quality public sector projects and provides a fast route to market available to the public sector, achieving measurable time, quality, cost and community benefits on every project and commission.

Major Projects

The Major Projects division is also delivering three significant major projects with a total value of over £400m in the North of Scotland. These include the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre for Henry Boot Developments, a new state-of-the-art distillery and visitor centre for Edrington Group at The Macallan, and a new £62m hospital in Kirkwall for NHS Orkney.

Partnership Homes

The Robertson Partnership Homes business has seen major success having delivered 152 homes in the past financial year and 632 being handed over this year. The business has secured contracts to deliver over 3,000 homes over the next five years in Scotland.

Capital Projects

Robertson Capital Projects (RCP), the group’s investment business, has secured financial close and is now monitoring construction of a new hospital on Orkney. This project represents the start of a 30-year relationship with NHS Orkney through the provision of full asset and facilities management.

In addition to a £5m investment in the Orkney project, the business has also invested over £3m in other public sector projects in the period.

Facilities Management

Robertson Facilities Management, which will service the Orkney contract, has grown turnover by 5% in 2017 and by 41% over the last five years and now employs over 700 people with a long-term order book of £1bn across the UK.

Homes

Robertson Homes continues to enjoy success and growth in private housing development, and has increased its units sold in the year by 16%. The Homes business has started exciting new developments in Newton Mearns, Inverness, Haddington and Bearsden in Central Scotland, and is currently operating on 11 live sites. Robertson Homes are also currently developing high-quality family homes in the North of England, with construction and sales having commenced on two new locations.

The group will continue to utilise its cash and funding base to invest further in its private and affordable homes businesses as well as in public-sector infrastructure projects, where it has a strong track record of investing in and delivering school, health and community facilities.

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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