Vp looks forward
8 June 2021
Vp’s final results announced today for the year ended 31 March 2021 show the group emerging positively from the pandemic and anticipating strong growth in key markets.
Profit before tax, amortisation and exceptional items was £23.3m (2020: £47.1 m) on revenues down by 15% to £308.0m (2020: £362.9m). EBITDA was £72.7m (2020: £98.1m) and year end debt reduced by £37.9m to £121.9m (2020: £159.8m).
A low point came in December when, after an investigation lasting almost four years, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) imposed a penalty of £11.2m on the company following a breach of competition law by three major suppliers of groundworks products for hire in the UK, including Vp’s excavations support business, Groundforce Shorco.
Vp’s tool and equipment hire business, Brandon Hire Station, merged 16 depots and closed nine in the wake of the pandemic, giving a national footprint of 160 locations.
Online revenues more than tripled compared with the prior year and an estimated 15% of tool hire transactions are now conducted via the website, which is expected to grow, the company states.
Jeremy Pilkington, Vp chairman, said: "I am pleased to be reporting a set of results that are ahead of our expectations in a year that has seen unprecedented challenges for the business and its customers.
"We have exited the year at nearly pre‐Covid levels which is a better recovery than we anticipated at the beginning of the pandemic. Given that we are reporting results beyond the upper end of original expectations, and reflecting our confidence in the prospects of the group, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 25.0 pence per share.”
Vp chief executive Neil Stothard added: "Looking ahead, the market backdrop for Vp is positive. Our core markets of infrastructure, house building and construction are showing positive signs of sustained growth.”