Profit trebles at Oliver Connell as material prices ease

Profits have surged at Oliver Connell and Son on the back of softening steel and concrete prices.

The groundworks and concrete specialist saw pre-tax profit more than treble to £10.6m, while turnover grew by over a fifth, from £117m to £142m.

The firm’s financial statements to the year ending 30 June also showed cash at bank standing at £17.5m, up 30 per cent on the year before.

Directors’ remuneration increased by 17 per cent on the previous year to a total of £385,584, with the highest-paid director earning a package worth just under £150,000.

The figures mark a significant turnaround from last year, when profits fell by a third in the wake of soaring materials prices and higher wage rates.

Operations director James Connell said the year had seen “unprecedented growth” in the company’s turnover, profit and cash reserves.

“This excellent performance is the result of several factors, including a more strategic and targeted approach to projects tendered, a highly motivated workforce delivering our projects in a safe and efficient manner, a senior management team now in place bringing a wealth of industry knowledge, and a fully supportive supply chain,” he said.

He added that the business was hit hard by inflation in 2021 and 2022, and still considers labour inflation a significant risk – but easing steel prices and more stable concrete prices had helped the business in the past year.

“The current market conditions are still very tough, and we are seeing a trend in some sectors where the market has become extremely competitive,” he said.

“The company, while continuing to operate in current markets, is also targeting projects in new niche markets in 2024, which will enable the company to utilise its capital and resources as efficiently as possible.”

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