Infrastructure specialist blames accounting measure for drop in headline pre-tax profit figure

Group revenue at J Murphy & Sons hit £1.5bn last year, the north London contractor’s latest accounts reveal.

According to its annual report, published today, income at the infrastructure specialist jumped 17% in the year ending 31 December 2022, from the £1.3bn recorded in 2021.

Turnover grew in the UK and Ireland as well as the rest of the world, although the latter made up an increased share of turnover – 31% from 24%. 

The business recorded a pre-tax profit of £44.6m in, down 38% on the £61.7m recorded in 2021. This decline was attributed to a re-evaluation of the firm’s investment properties last year, which it said skewed the figures.

Adjusted to exclude this accounting treatment, Murphy claims pre-tax profit rose by 161%, from £17m to £45m.


Source: Murphy

The business had its largest ever annual intake of apprentices and graduates last year

The firm also continued to increase its order book, recording just over £2.5bn of secured and anticipated orders in the UK, Canada and Ireland. 

Chief executive John Murphy said the business was focused on sustainable growth, particularly the areas of energy transition and security, where he said the firm’s “self-delivery model and engineering capabilities” put it at an advantage. 

“We are maintaining disciplined contract selectivity, concentrating on the right projects in familiar sectors and geographies,” he added.  

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“We have a high-quality order book, exciting opportunities in the pipeline and are well positioned to benefit from future investment trends across the UK, Ireland and Canada.” 

Staff numbers at Murphy, which was set up more than seven decades ago, also increased in 2022 – from 3,579 to 3,688 – and the business took on its largest ever annual intake of emerging talent, with 120 apprentices and graduates joining.