Breedon markets recovering after group profit & revenue hit by COVID-19 disruption

Breedon Group (Breedon), a major independent construction materials group in Great Britain and Ireland, says its markets are recovering well after COVID-19 disruption saw the group post a pre-tax loss of £10.1 million in the first half of 2020, down 126% on last year’s first-half pre-tax profit of £39.5 million.
Quarry Products / July 30, 2020
By Guy Woodford
Breedon Group CEO Pat Ward at Breedon's Breedon-on-the-Hill HQ

Unaudited interim results for H1 2020 also show that group revenue was down 25% to £335.3mn in the first half of 2020, compared to £447.4mn in the same period of 2019.

Breedon sold 8 million tonnes of aggregates in the first half of this year, compared to 9.9 million tonnes in H1 2019; 1 million tonnes of asphalt (1.4mn tonnes in H1 2019); 1 million m³ of ready-mixed concrete (1.5mn m³ in H1 2019); and 800,000 tonnes of cement (1 million tonnes in H1 2019).

Analysing the first-half 2020 results, Pat Ward, Breedon Group chief executive, 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 who 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 underway, 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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