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Record profits for Robertson Group

Robertson Group has reported record profit and a 13 per cent rise in turnover, with its construction division posting growth of 21 per cent.

The group’s turnover grew to £261m in the year to 31 March 2014, up from £210m last year.

It recorded pre-tax profit of £34.6m, an increase of 91 per cent on the previous year’s results, which helped its balance sheet to grow to £63.3m.

Robertson Facilities Management recorded a 22 per cent rise in turnover and record profit of £2.7m.

This turnover increase meant compound annual growth rate in sales stands at 14 per cent over the past four years, the company said.

Robertson’s construction division also posted record revenue of £193.5m – an increase of 21 per cent on the previous year.

Speaking to Construction News, Robertson group chairman Bill Robertson said growth in the group’s construction arm had been recorded “across the board in all six regions”, with its traditional Scottish heartland cited as a particularly strong area.

“We have seen increased volume and margins in Scotland across a number of areas, particularly in hubs, education – primary and secondary schools – and healthcare,” he said. “Around 75 to 80 per cent of our current projects are with the public sector.”

Mr Robertson highlighted recent projects wins and completions including the £100m distillery and visitor centre development for The Macallan and a£90m Emergency Care Centre in Aberdeen for NHS Grampian.

The group has expanded into building services and civils, with both business units recording a profit in their first full 12 months of trading.

Civil engineering generated £10m of profit for the group.

“We see civils as a big area for growth and there is lots of opportunity in this sector going forwards,” Mr Robertson added.

The group sits on a current construction order book worth £402m, which represents a 52 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Despite the growth, its homes division still remains some way behind pre-recession levels. Group output was 56 units for the year 2013/14, compared with 435 units in the year ending 2007.

Unlike some of its competitors, Robertson has avoided “problem jobs”, Mr Robertson said, adding that “getting smarter” as a business had helped Robertson to grow profits and deliver major projects.

He also highlighted the group’s “strong team” – Robertson increased its staff numbers by 8 per cent over the past year.

The group has a record order book for FY14/15, including £289m secured, with a further long-term order book of £1.4bn.

It is targeting the affordable homes sector for growth, as the company “sees considerable opportunity to innovate and grow in this market, particularly in the public sector”, Mr Robertson said.

Partnering with the public sector on major projects will be another focus for the group. “The public sector has been the largest contributor to our workload during the recession.

“The public sector is now [a] willing partner with infrastructure players like ourselves and is prepared to utilise value and its considerable surplus assets to fund or support its future plans and development.”