Winter, Carillion and Brexit blamed for earnings plunge at Alumasc

UK building products company Alumasc has blamed a bad winter, the collapse of Carillion and uncertainty over Brexit for a fall in earnings and profits after six consecutive years of growth.

Revenue fell to £98.4m in the year to 30 June 2018, down from £104.8m the previous year, said the company, which manufactures architectural screening, walling, drainage and roofing systems.

Profit before tax fell to £5.4m from £8.1m the year before.

Company chairman John McCall termed the results, announced yesterday, a "financial reversal".

Net debt rose to £4.8m, from net cash held of £6.1m last year, thanks to acquisitions.

McCall said: "The reasons which lay behind the financial reversal included the exceptionally hard and disruptive winter season, unusually bringing many building activities to a halt; the bankruptcy of a major player [Carillion] in the construction industry, which sent shockwaves across most sectors; and the more illusive hesitancy that accompanies the economic and political uncertainties in the UK associated with Brexit."

Economic and political uncertainties had prolonged decision-making of property developers and building contractors, Alumasc said, which was "exacerbated by the credit issues experienced across the UK construction industry following the failure of Carillion in January".

On Brexit the London-listed company said it was monitoring developments closely and maintaining "regular dialogue with key European suppliers".

McCall remained optimistic for the future, however.

"While severely impacting profit for the year under review, none of these factors is viewed as undermining the group’s underlying strategy," he said. "Moreover, where possible, lessons have been learnt and actions taken to diminish their impact in the future."

Photograph: Construction at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club ground, Haringey, February 2018 (Image © Acabashi; Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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  1. Perhaps Alumasc should be manufacturing more in the UK instead of relying on European suppliers

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