UK civil engineering drove 20% rise in wider group’s civils revenue in first half of 2021

Bam UK has rebounded this year with a 40% jump in revenue across its construction, property and civil engineering divisions for the first half of 2021.

The contractor said the strong performance of its UK business helped the wider group recover to an adjusted EBITDA of £134m (€157m), compared with a £46m (€54m) loss in the same covid-hit period in 2020.

It said group revenue increased by 17% to £3bn (€3.6bn), edging above its pre-covid level of £2.9bn (€3.45bn) in the first half of 2019, adding that the British pound exchange rate had brought in £4.3m (€5m).

Despite the wider group’s construction and property order book dipping by 6% this year, it said the £253m Co-op Live arena in Manchester – Bam’s largest ever contract – helped its UK order book grow from last year.

Bam Nutall

Revenue in Bam’s UK construction business increased to £471m (€551m) this year from £335m (€392m) in the first half of 2020, while adjusted EBITDA recovered to £18.4m (€21.5m) from a £12m (€14m) loss.

And the group said the performance of its UK civil engineering division was the main driver behind a 20% rise in revenue across the wider group’s civils operations, helped by UK government support for large infrastructure projects.

Its UK civil engineering revenue jumped this year to £541m (€633m), up from £388m (€454m) a year ago, bringing the group’s total revenue in civils to more than £1.37bn (€1.6bn).

This contrasts sharply with the performance of the group’s Dutch civils business, which saw an EBITDA loss of £4.6m (€5.4m) and revenue of £497m (€582m), down from revenue of £525m (€615m) and EBITDA of £3m (€3.5m) in the first half of last year.

The group blamed the poor performance on cost overruns for big contracts, adding that it had decided not to tender for several new large projects in the Netherlands including two major highway schemes.

But it said a £102m (€120m) rise in orders in the Netherlands had helped to boost its overall order book by 5% to £6.74bn (€7.9bn).

And the group, which has been undergoing restructuring since February, appears to have strengthened its position in Germany after a problem job in the country in 2020 contributed to losses of more than £100m.

Revenue in its German construction business increased to £184m (€216m), from £168m (€197m) in the first half of last year, with EBITDA back in the black at £2.8m (€3.3m) after a £18.5m (€21.7m) loss the previous year. However, selective tendering resulted in an order book that was some £171m (€200m) lower.

Bam’s German civil engineering business also saw a major rebound, with revenue increasing to £149m (€175m) from £121m (€142m) and EBITDA at £12.9m (€15.1m) from a near £25.6m (€30m) loss in the first half of 2020.