Billington soars to best-ever start

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For the six months to 30th June 2023 Billington Holdings generated revenue of £60.2m (2022 H1: £46.2m).

Profit before tax more than tripled to reach £4.6m (2022 H1: £1.3m), the highest ever first half level achieved by the company, thanks to steel prices stabilising.

Barnsley-based Billington is also now debt free, having repaid the remaining outstanding debt in January 2023.

Chief executive Mark Smith said: “Although the market continues to be unsettled, with a number of projects being deferred or cancelled, during the first half of the year the group’s structural steel businesses continued to operate at near full capacity, with benefits being seen from increases to capacity following recent efficiency and process improvements, driven by the group’s investment in capital equipment and people. Furthermore, some modest softening in some of the company’s primary raw material prices in the period has aided the enhancement of margin on some projects.”

He continued: “Particularly strong demand is being seen in the energy from waste, high-tech manufacturing, infrastructure and data centre areas.  Whilst large office developments remain limited and industrial warehousing development has slowed, Billington Structures continued to secure contracts in these areas.”

He added: “Whilst we remain mindful of continuing inflationary pressures and an uncertain macroeconomic outlook, we anticipate a robust performance in the second half of the year for the group. I believe that Billington is very well positioned to deal with market challenges and I now expect the group to deliver profits for the full year ahead of previous Board expectations.”

Like many businesses, recruitment difficulties present a barrier to progress. Billington has sought to offer training to the local job pool – a fabrication/welding training centre opens at its Shafton facility next month in an agreement with Barnsley College – but it has had more success recruiting overseas. In the first six months of 2023 alone, Billington took on 37 new staff members from overseas – equivalent to 10% of the workforce – in addition to foreign labour already on board. “Billington has assisted these new recruits to settle in the UK and is providing certain ongoing assistance with housing,” Mark Smith said.

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