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Recovery well under way, say Breedon

Pat Ward

Breedon Group announce interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2020 

BREEDON Group plc have reported a pre-tax loss of £10.1 million for the six months ended 30 June 2020, down 126% on last year’s first-half pre-tax profit of £39.5 million. Revenue for the half year was down 25% to £335.3 million (2019: £447.4 million) and underlying EBIT was a loss of £0.6 million (2019: profit of £49.5 million). 

Breedon say trading in the first quarter had been progressing broadly in line with expectations until the latter part of March when the pandemic began to take hold, prompting an immediate fall in demand and managed shutdown of most of the company’s operations that resulted in an immediate and significant impact on the business.

Revenues in April fell to 19% of those recorded in the same month of 2019, followed by 45% in May, before improving to 99% in June as the recovery began to gather pace.

Group aggregates volumes for the first half of 2020 totalled 8.0 million tonnes (2019: 9.9 million tonnes), asphalt volumes stood at 1.0 million tonnes (2019: 1.4 million tonnes), ready-mixed concrete volumes totalled 1.0 million cubic metres (2019: 1.5 million cubic metres) and cement volumes stood at 0.8 million tonnes (2019: 1.0 million tonnes). 

Commenting on the first-half results, group chief executive Pat Ward (pictured) said: ‘Following the encouraging performance of our businesses in the first 12 weeks of the year, the move into lockdown and immediate fall in demand in the latter part of March led us into a swift and managed shutdown of the majority of our operations, leaving open only those which were servicing critical needs.

‘This decisive action ensured the protection of our employees, left our sites in a safe condition and also positioned us to return quickly to production when demand began to return in early May. The recovery in our markets now appears to be well under way and we have seen continued improvement into July. The great majority of our sites are now open, including both our cement plants.

‘While near-term uncertainty remains, there is significant pent-up demand to be satisfied in both housing and infrastructure, reinforced by the substantial programme of investment confirmed by the Chancellor earlier this month. Looking to the longer term, we believe the outlook for our markets remains positive, supporting our confidence in the prospects for the Group.’

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