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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Record year for Banks Renewables

Simon Fisher

Banks Group reports healthy result for 2020 despite challenging year and reduction in coal mining

THE Banks Group have reported a healthy set of results despite the impacts of the pandemic and a reduction in their coal mining operations during their last financial year.

The Co. Durham-based family-owned firm has reported combined profit after tax across all of its businesses of £15 million for the financial year ending 27 September 2020, down from £18 million in the previous financial year. Overall group sales of £96 million were down from £109 million in the previous period.

The Group’s renewable energy businesses delivered a record year and have significantly increased their pipeline of wind farm development sites, with a total potential additional capacity of over 400MW across five sites in southern Scotland.

In addition to new onshore wind farm projects, Banks are continuing to explore further renewable and flexible energy technologies including solar power, battery storage and flexible power generation to complement their existing infrastructure asset base.

Simon Fisher (pictured), group finance director at The Banks Group, said: ‘Despite the challenges posed in 2020, the board continues to believe the business is in good shape to maximize the opportunities available from the markets in which we operate and for results to remain strong, although with some volatility.’

Banks Mining saw their turnover fall from £47 million in 2019 to £30 million last year as a result of the reduced availability of coal for sale, with the firm’s Shotton, Brenkley Lane and Bradley surface mines reaching the end of their operational lives.

However, the Group’s Renewables businesses enjoyed a record year, with combined sales improving from £43 million in 2019 to £61 million in 2020 on the back of the first full year of energy generation from the Kype Muir and Middle Muir wind farms in Scotland.

Banks Renewables’ total generation capacity now stands at 223MW, a figure which is set to increase with the commencement of construction of their Kype Muir Extension wind farm.

Simon Fisher continued: ‘As it is unlikely that approval will be granted for any future surface mines in the UK, our mining team is being redirected to explore other opportunities which will draw on the Group’s skills and experience in new areas of industrial support and mineral extraction, and we have some exciting prospects in place which we expect to see come to fruition in the coming months.

‘We remain unique in using the revenues we have generated through our coal mining business to establish a strong renewable energy division supporting the UK’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions which is continuing to go from strength to strength.’

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