Improved margins for Needham Market-based Breheny despite impairment charge hit
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East Anglia-based Breheny Group has reported improved profit margins, despite posting a bottom-line annual loss following one-off charges.
Accounts filed at Companies House show that Breheny, which has its head office at Creeting St Mary, near Needham Market, and mainly operates in the civil engineering sector, achieved turnover of £81.09m in the year to March 31 this year, up from £75.81m in the previous 12 months.
But the company posted a pre-tax loss of nearly £1.24m, against a profit of £2.01m the previous year, largely reflecting an impairment charge of £3.03m following a decision to close its Butterfly World visitor attraction near St Albans.
During the year, the group also wrote off £493,000 of internal loans relating to its civil engineering division in Lincolnshire. But despite this, Breheny – a member of the EADT/EDP Top 100 list of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk – was still able to report a pre-tax profit of £522,305 on continuing operations, offset by an loss of £1.76m overall on discontinued businesses.
In its report accompanying the accounts, the group says: “The 2015-16 financial year results have continued the improvements we first saw in the industry in the last financial year, which reflected more favourable trading conditions in civil engineering and construction generally.
“Good sales volumes have been present for a few years now and, for the moment at least, more acceptable levels of profit margin remain.”
Looking ahead, the group says its pipeline of work and future prospects “remain very positive” for the next 12 months but it warns of uncertainty over the short and longer term effects on the industry and the wider economy resulting from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
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“However, despite this, we strongly believe that we have developed a very solid platform on which to build the business in the next few years,” it adds.