Ground engineering specialist posts solid results, but outlook for 2009 is less cheerful

Keller Group, the ground engineering specialist, has seen its turnover top £1bn for the first time.

The economic slowdown that began in the latter half of last year appears to have had little impact on Keller's business during 2008. It posted a turnover of £1.19bn in the year to 31 December, a 25% increase on the 2007 figure of £955m.

Pre-tax profit was, at £113m, up 10% from the year before, when Keller made £103m. The group's operating margins fell slightly from 2007's high of 11.2%, but still represented a healthy 10%.

Keller plant
The ground engineering specialist's workload held up well in 2008

Keller said it had made like-for-like organic revenue growth of 12%, with its business growing significantly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

However, chairman Michael West said that the future was not looking quite so bright.

He said: “We are certainly encountering tougher conditions in almost all our markets and we expect this to continue for some time... In this environment, we will inevitably see a significant reduction in revenue in some countries.”

However, he added that, with its strong balance sheet and broad geographic spread, he expected Keller to outperform the general construction market in the medium to long term.