Site efficiencies help CHAP return to profit

(from left) Douglas Thomson, joint managing director; Shona Gee, finance director and Hugh Craigie, joint managing director

Aberdeenshire construction group CHAP (Holdings) Limited has reported a marked improvement in trading performance despite ongoing challenging market conditions.

In accounts lodged for the end of September 2017, the Westhill-based firm recorded an operating profit of £668,000, against a loss of £1.37 million in 2016; an improvement the company attributes to improved trading and an increased focus on site efficiency and general control of costs.

A write-down in investment property value of £804,000 resulted in a pre-tax loss of £276,000, versus £1.523m in 2016. A revaluation of the company’s final salary pension scheme saw an improvement of £476,000 and a total comprehensive income of £45,000 for the year. Turnover increased from £37.1m to £40.5m.

CHAP Construction saw an increase in turnover and a return to profit. The division is close to completing Aberdeen City Council’s flagship Smithfield development of 99 homes and the new fish market building for Peterhead Harbour Board. New contracts commenced in the past year include; a care home in Grantown-on-Spey, social housing projects in Huntly, Peterhead and Turriff and the new renal unit at Kincardine Community Hospital, Stonehaven.

CHAP’s Civil Engineering division recorded a significant increase in turnover compared to 2016. While recording a small loss, trading was significantly ahead of 2016 and slightly ahead of budget. The firm is confident that the division is on track to return to profit in 2018. The division is about to embark upon two exciting projects on the Fair Isle and the Isle of Canna working alongside SSE Contracting.

Significant progress has been made with the group’s plans to grow its CHAP Homes division with a number of new and exciting flatted and housing developments either underway or close to starting on site. These developments will be spread across Aberdeen city and shire with sales expected to get underway later this year.

CHAP Quarries reported a small reduction in turnover in 2017 with a corresponding drop in profit when compared to 2016. Concrete sales were in line with the prior year but sales of dry materials were down slightly on the year before. The division has a planning application currently under consideration for a new sand resource to the north of Ellon with determination expected in early spring. The division is actively seeking additional resource and has invested in new quarrying plant, increasing production capacity and efficiency within its existing operations.

Hugh Craigie, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “These results are in line with expectations and demonstrate that the Group’s strategy is on-track to deliver targeted improvements in performance. Early indications in the current year are positive and while the winning of new contracts continues to be highly competitive, we are confident that this progress can be maintained. The group’s move towards a higher proportion of self-delivered, residential developments is expected to drive many benefits across the group’s divisions and we look forward to these developments progressively coming on stream in the coming months.”

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