Steel firm achieves record order book amid European expansion

Severfield has announced that its order book for the UK and Europe has risen to a record £511m.

In a trading update this morning, the North Yorkshire-based structural steel specialist also announced the appointment of a new non-executive chair.

Severfield said it was set to deliver results slightly above expectations for the 12 months to 30 March 2024, driven by its performance in the second half of the financial year.

Its £511m order book at 1 April marked an increase on £482m on 1 November last year, and £397m of the total is due to be delivered in the next year.

Following expansion in Europe and the March 2023 acquisition of Dutch firm Voortman, continental Europe and Ireland now makes up 32 per cent of the firm’s order book, compared with just 13 per cent six months ago.

Net debt for the group at the end of the year stood at £10m, which Severfield said reflected an improvement in underlying working capital and an increase in advance payments.

It also announced it intends to start a share buyback programme to return £10m to shareholders.

“The group is performing well, the outlook is positive and our businesses are well-positioned in markets with excellent long-term growth opportunities,” the trading update said.

“While there remains some uncertainty in the wider economy, we are seeing an improvement in market conditions which, together with our high-quality order books, diversified activities and operational delivery capabilities, provides us with confidence for the year ahead.”

Severfield also announced the appointment of Manchester Airports Group (MAG) chair Charlie Cornish as its new non-executive chair, effective from 1 May. Cornish – a former chief executive at MAG from 2010 to 2023 – succeeds Kevin Whiteman, who is stepping down after nine years in the role.

Severfield senior independent director Alun Griffiths said: “Charlie has an outstanding record of value creation, and he brings a wealth of experience to Severfield.”

In November, Severfield announced a pre-tax profit of £11m on a £215.3m turnover for the six months to 23 September 2023.

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