SEVERFIELD, the structural steel specialist behind iconic London projects The Shard, the Cheesegrater and the Olympic Stadium, yesterday said that it is on track for the year thanks to a buoyant UK market.
“The UK order book of £188m remains strong with the London commercial markets and large industrial distribution centres in particular continuing to provide opportunities, which supports revenue growth in the current financial year,” said chairman John Dodds. “Operating margins are continuing to improve as benefits from the ongoing operational improvement programme continue to be realised.”
But the Indian business has seen a more sluggish performance with a “steady” order book of £36m.
A decade-long construction boom in India has become a damp squib this year, following slower-than-expected economic growth. There is pressure on the Modi government to slash interest rates and ramp up infrastructure spending in order to reinvigorate the country’s economy.
Severfield said the overall group is on track for the year. The steelmaker encountered controversy late last year when defective bolts broke in the Cheesegrater skyscraper in the City, formally known as the Leadenhall building.
“These bolts were a specialist product. It is the first time we’ve used them and it is unlikely we will use them again,” chief executive Ian Lawson told City A.M.
In June, the firm reported an 18.4 per cent rise in full-year UK earnings to £9m and reintroduced a dividend of 0.5p per share, citing “good progress across the business” with a solid order book and pipeline.