Severfield shares up as order book hits £301m

Shares of Thirsk, North Yorkshire-based steel group Severfield rose about 5% on Thursday after it published a strong AGM trading update that revealed that a number of large ongoing contracts are expected to deliver profits in the second half of the financial year.

Severfield said its order book stood at £301 million as at September 1, of which £281 million is for delivery over the next 12 months.

Severfield chairman John Dodds told the AGM: “The group’s trading performance and financial position remains in line with management expectations and the outlook for the year ending 31 March 2020 remains unchanged.

“As anticipated, following two years of more equally weighted profits in H1 and H2, the results for the 2020 financial year are expected to be significantly more second half weighted, with a number of large ongoing contracts expected to deliver profits in the second half of the financial year …

“The order book of £301m as at 1 September (1 June: £295m), of which £281m is for delivery over the next 12 months, contains a healthy mix of projects within the UK, Republic of Ireland and continental Europe across a diverse range of market sectors.

“In general, our pipeline of potential future orders has remained stable with a good balance of work across all key market sectors.

“Both the quality of the order book and the strength of the pipeline are consistent with our continued progress towards our strategic targets …

“The Indian market for structural steel continues to expand, and we are seeing clear signs of the conversion of the market from concrete to steel which will drive the success and long term value of the business.

“This position is evident in JSSL’s order book of £134m at 1 September (1 June: £134m) which contains a growing mix of higher margin commercial work.

“The expanding market position is also reflected in a pipeline which includes a growing number of potential commercial projects for key developers and clients with whom we are developing strong relationships. We also have visibility of an increased pipeline of industrial opportunities, including those for our joint venture partner, JSW Steel (‘JSW’).

“The expansion of the Bellary facility is progressing well and is expected to be completed towards the end of the 2020 financial year …”