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May Gurney takeover has helped “transform” the services business of construction group Kier

15:33 27 February 2014

New signs for Kier and the familiar May Gurney signs removed on the company

New signs for Kier and the familiar May Gurney signs removed on the company's headquarters near Trowse. Photo: Steve Adams

Bosses at Kier today said they were pleased with the progress of a merger with May Gurney after revealing it had helped boost operating profits by 96pc.

New signs for Kier and the familiar May Gurney signs removed on the company's headquarters near Trowse. Photo: Steve AdamsNew signs for Kier and the familiar May Gurney signs removed on the company's headquarters near Trowse. Photo: Steve Adams

May Gurney shareholders overwhelmingly backed a £221m takeover of the EDP Top 100 firm by Kier last year - marking the end of the road for the Norfolk firm as a separate entity.

Announcing Kier’s interim results for the six months to December 2013, chief executive Paul Sheffield, said: “We are pleased with the performance of the May Gurney business which is operating in line with our expectations. The acquisition has consolidated the group’s position in support services, providing a range of complementary services to clients in the highways, transport and utilities sectors. The integration remains on course, with good customer retention, new extended contracts and revenue synergies. We are on track to deliver the anticipated £5m cost savings in this financial year. The construction and Property divisions continue to strengthen.”

Group revenue for the six months ended December 31 increased by 47pc to £1,432m and underlying operating profit increased by 96pc to £44.4m.

On a like-for-like basis Group revenue was up 12pc to £1,094m and underlying operating profit up 34pc to £30.4m

Pre-tax profits rose from £19.4m to £36.8m.

Mr Sheffield said the group delivered a good set of results in a “competitive trading environment and in a period of significant change for the business”.

The acquisition of May Gurney has transformed the scale and diversity of the services business, creating a division that now has annual revenue of over £1.0bn and has a market-leading position in a number of support services sectors. The group now provides local authorities with access to an unrivalled range of outsourcing options and our ability to offer a broader range of capabilities has significantly increased.”

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