Firm turns corner after racking up £3.5m redundancy bill in previous three years

Byrne Group has put three years of restructuring behind it with the firm turning in an improved set of annual numbers last year, its latest accounts reveal.

The firm, which includes the Byrne Bros concrete arm and its building and fit-out business Ellmer, had racked up more than £3.5m in exceptional items over a three year period to June 2021 which included a slew of redundancy payments.


Byrne said its concrete frame arm continued to be hit by the impact of the pandemic and rising materials costs

But in its accounts for the year to June 2022, the business stayed free from exceptional costs improving pre-tax profit by a quarter to £6.2m on turnover up 7% to £153m.

The average number of monthly staff at the business during the year dropped from 244 to 219, a fall of 10%.

Byrne, which has been owned by South African builder Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon since 2017, said its concrete arm had been hit by “the ongoing effects of the pandemic and rapidly rising inflation caused serious delays to project starts”.

It said turnover at the division, which has been working on Multiplex’s delayed One Nine Elms scheme along with HS2 schemes for Costain and Balfour Beatty teams, slipped 56% to £73m although operating profit was off by just £300,000 from the previous year’s number of £5m.

But Ellmer, which is carrying out work on the new Google headquarters at King’s Cross and an apartments complex at the Peninsula hotel in Belgravia, saw turnover jump from £29m to £80m although operating profit was down 18% to £1.4m.

The group said cash rose from £31.5m to £48.6m.

Byrne’s accounts also show that it paid £7.9m to the administrators of civils firm O’Keefe Group which collapsed over the summer. The deal, which saved around 150 jobs, comprised the properties and plant of O’Keefe after it defaulted on a company voluntary agreement that was set up last year.