For the year to 3rd March 2023, NG Bailey made a pre-tax loss of £24.9m (2022: £3.0m profit).
Sales increased to £532m (2022: £500m) with an underlying operating loss (before exceptional items and amortisation) of £17.3m (2022: £800,000 profit).
The operating loss was attributed to a small number of fixed price contracts suffering from inflation, delays and supply chain failures.
“The cash impact of these challenging jobs is now largely behind us with cash reserves remaining robust,” the board said.
The engineering division has now been restructured to focus on work with a lower risk profile.
The services division, in contrast, achieved record profitability in the year and turnover for the division now accounts for almost half of all group turnover.
Exceptional items included a £6.8m write-off for the company’s equity investment in Britishvolt, the start-up company hoping to build a gigafactory in Blyth. Britishvolt went into administration in January 2023.
Year-end order book stood at £1.3bn, up from £1.2bn a year before.
The accounts show net assets of £121.3m (2022: £146.6m) and zero debt.
In its annual review, the NG Bailey board reports: “2022/23 was a challenging year as significant inflationary pressures, the lingering effects of the pandemic and political uncertainty fuelled some of the toughest market conditions the group has faced in its long [102-year] history. Despite this, the group is well placed with a balanced portfolio of strategic opportunities in recession-resilient sectors providing a clear route to pre-pandemic levels of trading and beyond.”
In the last year before the pandemic (year to 28th February 2020), NG Bailey turned over £573m and made an underlying operating profit of £19.8m