Breedon Aggregates AGM statement
Chairman Peter Tom says company’s full-year out-turn expected to be in line with expectations
BREEDON Aggregates’ chairman Peter Tom, speaking at the company’s AGM on 19 April, said trading in the first quarter of 2013 had reflected the dramatic swings in the weather, with a challenging January being followed by a better February in which activity returned to more normal levels, only to be succeeded by snow and freezing temperatures during March, which had an inevitable impact on volumes, especially asphalt.
Nevertheless, Mr Tom said the company’s underlying order book remained sound and, with the return of more seasonal weather, volumes had picked up. ‘Generally, we are more optimistic about the outlook than we were this time last year,’ he commented.
Mr Tom continued: ‘Last week we announced two major acquisitions, adding significantly to our portfolio of quarries and downstream operations in England and Scotland, and more than doubling our reserves and resources to approximately 400 million tonnes, enough to last 76 years at current rates of extraction.
‘These are perfect examples of our strategy in action: acquiring bolt-on businesses which complement our existing operations, extend our geographical reach and offer excellent potential for earnings enhancement.
‘The acquisitions were funded by a £61 million placing which was oversubscribed by investors. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank our shareholders for their continued support and also take this opportunity to welcome the new investors who participated in the placing.’
Mr Tom went on to say that while the company was not immune to the stubbornly difficult economic environment in the UK, Breedon’s management team had consistently demonstrated its ability to deliver solid results in the most difficult market conditions and was continuing to focus on delivering real value through self-help, tight cost control and careful selection of work.
‘Our previous acquisitions have all added significant value to our core business, with the purchase of C&G in July 2011 in particular exceeding expectations. We fully anticipate being able to deliver value in the same way from our most recent acquisitions,’ he stated.
Although still early in the year, Mr Tom said the company remained confident of delivering a performance in line with expectations in 2013. He added that a further update on the group’s progress would be given in Breedon’s interim results announcement on 18 July 2013.