East Anglia: May Gurney takeover has helped “transform” the services business of Kier

Kier signage at the former May Gurney headquarters. Kier signage at the former May Gurney headquarters.

Thursday, February 27, 2014
3:55 PM

Bosses at construction group Kier today said they were pleased with the progress of a merger with May Gurney after revealing it had helped boost operating profits by 96%.

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May Gurney shareholders overwhelmingly backed a £221million takeover of the EDP/EADT Top 100 firm by Kier last year, marking the end of the road for the Norfolk-based firm as a separate entity.

Announcing Kier’s interim results for the six months to December 2013, chief executive Paul Sheffield, said: “We are pleased with the performance of the May Gurney business which is operating in line with our expectations. The acquisition has consolidated the group’s position in support services, providing a range of complementary services to clients in the highways, transport and utilities sectors.

“The integration remains on course, with good customer retention, new extended contracts and revenue synergies. We are on track to deliver the anticipated £5m cost savings in this financial year. The construction and Property divisions continue to strengthen.”

Group revenue for the six months ended December 31 increased by 47% to £1,432m and underlying operating profit increased by 96% to £44.4m.

On a like-for-like basis group revenue was up 12% at £1,094m and underlying operating profit up 34% at £30.4m. Pre-tax profits rose from £19.4m to £36.8m.

Mr Sheffield said the group delivered a good set of results in a “competitive trading environment and in a period of significant change for the business”.

The acquisition of May Gurney has transformed the scale and diversity of the services business, creating a division that now has annual revenue of over £1.0bn and has a market-leading position in a number of support services sectors. The group now provides local authorities with access to an unrivalled range of outsourcing options and our ability to offer a broader range of capabilities has significantly increased.”

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