GRS return to growth with record revenues
Strategic acquisitions pay dividends after impact of pandemic and uncertainty of previous years
CONSTRUCTION materials trading group GRS have announced record turnover and strong pre-tax profits for 2021/22.
The Nuneaton-based firm – which trades and transports aggregates and building products, as well as materials for recycling – posted a revenue of £383 million in the year ending 31 January 2022, a leap of 28% on the last like-for-like accounting year (2018).
And despite material shortages, increasing costs, and Covid-related contract delays, GRS report that their pre-tax profits reached £2.5 million in 2021/22 (post £3 million goodwill impairment), up from losses of £1.7 million in the previous seven-month period.
Before the pandemic GRS achieved consistent growth and were – for four years running – among the highest climbers in The Sunday Times Top Track 250, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, ranking at number 65 in 2019.
In the past five years the company’s growth has been bolstered by a series of strategic acquisitions including London groundworks and marine freight business S Walsh & Sons and Cornwall-based secondary aggregates and concrete business Maen Karne. Those tie-ups have allowed GRS to accelerate their drive to supply secondary aggregates made from mine waste into London by low-carbon sea freight.
Employing almost 800 people nationwide, plus a network of independent contractors, GRS handle more than 20 million tonnes of materials annually. The company is involved with some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects, including being a key supplier to HS2 through its Rail Stone Solutions subsidiary, and supplies leading builders’ merchants.
Group chief financial officer Martin Reid said: ‘These results show we’re in a good, stable position after the impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty of previous years, with the delivery of record revenues and a healthy pre-tax profit. Our performance is testament to the dedication of our workforce, backed by a clear long-term strategy.
‘Despite the enormous challenges in availability of materials and haulage, plus escalating costs, we have worked closely with our customers and suppliers to deliver excellent results. We are especially proud of our major involvement in projects like HS2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway, Hinkley Point C, and the new A14 in Cambridgeshire.
‘Strategic investments we have made in recent years are really starting to pay dividends as well as placing GRS among the most sustainable businesses in our sector – for example, greater use of rail and water freight in London, reprocessing of mining spoil as secondary aggregates, the recovery and recycling of construction waste, and the switch to green hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel in the South West. We have a solid platform to deliver a strong performance in the years ahead.’