Polypipe ‘resilient’ amid floods and ‘tough’ markets

Doncaster-based plastic piping and ventilation systems firm Polypipe on Tuesday issued a trading update for the 10 months ended October 31, 2019, reporting a “resilient performance in tough markets” with group revenue 4.3% higher at £381.7 million.

However, Polypipe shares fell about 3% after it said it expects underlying operating profit for the year to be just below its previous expectations as flooding and poor ground conditions in the North of England and the Midlands hampered its business.

“Continued good contribution from acquisitions, which are performing well,” said Polypipe. “M&A pipeline remains encouraging.”

But the firm added: “Trading in the last four months reflects strong 2018 comparatives and short term political and economic uncertainty impacting our markets, with group revenue 1.7% higher than the prior year.

“Since the end of October, this has been compounded by flooding and poor ground conditions, most notably in the North and the Midlands, meaning contractors and developers have not been able to access sites for civils and groundworks activities.

“Against this backdrop, the board now expects underlying operating profit for the year to be just below its previous expectations.”

Polypipe CEO Martin Payne said: “Despite increasingly challenging market conditions and the impact of the recent severe weather, we still expect to report good growth in profits, albeit just below our previous expectations.

“Fundamentals in the group’s markets remain strong, with a structural housing shortage, historically low interest rates, real wage growth and near full employment which means that we view our future prospects with confidence”.