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Gloucestershire Business News

Underlying increase in turnover fails to bridge near £4 million gap

An increase of 18 per cent in underlying turnover and a strong order book were still not enough for it to avoid operating losses of £3.69 million for a specialist engineering firm.

Recently sold to US rival and fellow international bridge engineering expert, Acrow, Gloucestershire-based Mabey Bridge still has a major operation in the Forest of Dean.

The business generated a turnover of £23,717,029 (2017: £24,117,093 from continuing operations) and operating losses of £3,967,102 (2017: loss of £4,034,824 from continuing operations).

"Whilst the underlying modular retail turnover increase by 18 per cent during the year this was offset by a reduction in revenue from a major long term rural development contract in Sri Lanka as this programme comes to an end," said its annual report, signed by Michael Treacy, a director for Mabey Bridge.

"Gross margins also improved during the year, although this was offset by an increase in administration costs.


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"Administration costs include £0.2 million in relation to the operating cost element of a roof replacement project for the factory in Lydney."

Gross profit margin was 21 per cent, compared with 20 per cent in 2017, and operating profit margin was minus 17 per cent (minus 15 per cent in 2017).

According to the report the firm also enjoyed a "strong order intake on the final quarter of the year which will provide a good underpin to the start of the coming financial year".

Mabey Bridge also said it was beginning to see the benefits of the investment in new technology in the previous year in improving productivity and operational efficiencies.

Acrow has been involved in bridge infrastructure projects in more than 80 countries, covering Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

Mabey has been in business for nearly 100 years, employs more than 600 people and delivers projects from 28 locations around the world.

Read more: US takeover of unsung engineering giant 

Read more: Sale unlocks 45-acre site for 345 new homes 

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