Billington Holdings (LON:BILN) Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the main highlights of their interim results, the large European project, the company remaining positive in uncertain markets and the outlook going forward.
Q1: Congratulations on your results today, can you talk us through the main highlights?
A1: H1 has seen a record turnover, we were successful in securing a number of large significant contracts in late 2018 that we’ve been fulfilling throughout the course of H1 2019.
For a number of years, we’ve been advising of a programme of renovation and capacity expansion of our Shafton works, we know beginning to see the realisation of these plans.
We also announced the award of our largest contract to date, a data centre project in Europe, that’s a significant milestone for the business and this presents further opportunities for the business.
Q2: Can you talk to us about your successful delivery of a large European project and what this entails for the future?
A2: We have a long history of delivering projects in European countries over the years, having previously worked in Finland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, Switzerland and Spain. However, as I alluded to, the data centre project in Central Europe is the largest that the company is delivering in its history, it’s circa 10,000 tonnes of complex steel frame delivered under very tight time and budget constraints. The project also provided revenue for our other group businesses as the company is able to offer a full suite of construction solutions.
We’re very hopeful that this project will act as a further springboard for further opportunities across Europe and we’re looking at a number of enquiries as we speak at the moment.
Q3: Now, you stated “the overall market continues to be uncertain yet the outlook for Billington remains positive, could you expand on that for us?
A3: We’ve managed to maintain our strong order booking to H2 2019 so we’re confident that we can fulfil our expectations for the full year, however, we are aware of the general market uncertainties created by the current political unrest.
Whereas we’re having a number of encouraging conversations with regards to potential projects in 2020, we remain cautious as do some of our clients until the current political position and the B-word is more known.
Q4: How has the second half of the year started off?
A4: We’ve continued successfully to deliver a large portfolio project across a broad range of sectors, as I was saying, in UK and Europe, this mitigates the risk of being reliant on a particularly dominant sector. That insulates us, to some degree, to short term fluctuations.
As we’ve said, full order books for the remainder of 2019 and a good level of work and opportunity into 2020. All the group companies continue to grow in line with budget and are currently performing to expectations so second half has very much continued as the same vein as H1.
Q5: So, just looking forward then, what’s the outlook like for Billington?
A5: We’re confident the business is in good shape for the future, whatever this may bring, its solid financial footing provides stability and the ability to review opportunities as it presents. We’re mindful to deliver our strategic plans going forward and look forward to a bright future for the group, as I say, with cautious optimism based on the political unrest and the conclusion of Brexit.