Costain stems losses and remains confident about future

Costain has stemmed pre-tax losses to £13.3m in 2021, following pre-tax losses of £96.1m in 2020 and £6.6m in 2019, and the company is confident about the year ahead after already securing revenues of more than £1bn for 2022. 

The full-year results up to 31 December 2021 showed group revenue up 10%, reflecting strong growth in transportation from National Highways and HS2, and improved profitability with adjusted operating profit up 67% to £30.1m and an adjusted operating margin of 2.6%. 

The reported operating loss of £9.5m (FY20: £92.0m) reflected £39.6m of adjusting items mainly related to legacy contract issues.

The company also reported a strong year end net cash position of £119.4m and £38.9m free cash flow, with good visibility for FY22 with more than £1bn of group revenue already secured.

A solid order book of £3.4bn at end of FY21 (FY20: £4.3bn) was in line with market expectations, and the company says its pipeline remains strong driven by significant committed infrastructure investment and structural growth from levelling up, net zero, climate resilience and customer service needs, underpinned by secured framework positions.

Alex Vaughan, Costain chief executive officer, said: “We have delivered an improved operating performance and results in line with market expectations, including significant growth in adjusted operating profit and margin, and good free cash flow generation. Infrastructure is facing enormous change, underpinned by significant committed investment and generating huge opportunities for us and, in my mind, addressing these changes requires a different approach. We have aligned our services to meet the changing needs of our clients, allowing us to shape, create and deliver pioneering solutions that transform the performance of the infrastructure ecosystem.

“Looking ahead, while we are mindful of the macro-economic backdrop, we have already secured more than £1bn of group revenue for 2022 and have entered the new year with good momentum. We expect to deliver further progress in 2022 and remain confident in the group’s strategy and longer-term prospects.”

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