Modular specialist continues its growth trajectory

Installation of Merit’s pods on site at the Moderna Innovation & Technology Centre in Harwell, Oxfordshire (November 2023)

Growing demand for Merit’s proprietary platform design for buildings saw turnover grow 48% last year on the back of 44% the previous year

In the year to 30th June 2023 Merit Holdings turned over £94.3m (2022: £63.7m) and more than doubled its pre-tax profit to £8.4m (2022: £4.0m).

Ebitda was £8.6m, up from £4.1m in 2022.

This pattern of growth is expected to continue, as the company invests to ramp up production capacity.

The principal activity of Merit and its subsidiaries is the manufacture of UltraPod, UltraPod+ and the hybrid FlexiPod building systems, which are mostly used in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, bioscience and semiconductor sectors. It delivers buildings that are typically designed with a 75% to 95% pre-manufactured value.

Projects under way this year include Berwick’s new community hospital, Merit’s first whole hospital facility, having previously built only new wings and expansions. Other NHS projects include the Solihull hospital elective theatre hub for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a 2,000 sq m, 48-bed ward for Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Merit is also biotechnology company Moderna’s main offsite construction partner for clinical laboratories. It is building the new Moderna Innovation & Technology Centre (MITC) on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. This facility is being delivered using Merit’s UltraPod+ system, comprising 52 pods, promising an 11-month timescale for the delivery of approximately 2,100 sq m of laboratories with a 92% pre-manufactured value.

During the year to June 2023 Merit expanded its factory in Cramlington, Northumberland, from 230,000 sq ft to 270,000 sq ft. It now has planning permission for a further 127,000 sq ft expansion of production facilities, adding a mezzanine level, increasing its production capacity from a theoretical £300m per year of capital projects to £450m.

Merit also has ambitions to expand internationally and build a factory overseas.

Finance director Matthew McGrady writes in the annual report: “The future of Merit is tremendously exciting. Our unique platform is gaining traction every day, being recognised for its innovation, its flexibility and adaptability, and its proven capability in an environment where our clients crave certainty of delivery on time and within an agreed fixed budget. We believe we will continue to grow at a rapid pace to satisfy the demand across all our key markets, not just in the UK but also overseas, particularly in the USA.”

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