John Graham Holdings: Group continues robust performances
John Graham Holdings is the parent company for a large group of 23 construction and other related businesses, including property management, and the fulfilment of contracts gained under the PPP arrangements, with headquarters in Hillsborough.
The group activities include building and civil engineering, project investment and asset management. The group provides services to central and local government, commercial developers, health services, education facilities and leisure services.
Group annual turnover has increased steadily in the last four years. In 2010 the group experienced a big fall in annual turnover and in the two most recent years, to March 2013, has enjoyed a big recovery in turnover. In the year to March 2013, operating profits recovered to be higher than in any other recent year.
The ratio of pre-tax profit to turnover at less than 1% in 2008 and 2009 showed a tight squeeze on margins.
That margin improved to nearer 2% in 2010 and 2011, then fell in 2012, but in 2013 has recovered again.
The directors report that group businesses are continuing to deliver robust performances in 'what remains a difficult market'.
The main businesses are reported to be 'all underpinned by a healthy forward order book'.
The increasing diversity of the group activities is emphasised by reference to the continued development of the asset management business which is stated to give a strong platform for sustained growth. The group has also developed its investment business and taken part in a number of key infrastructure projects.
In the financial year to March 2011, the group broke with normal practice when it made no dividend payment to shareholders.
In 2012 and 2013, the annual dividend payments to shareholders resumed and totalled £1m each year.
Retaining most remaining post-tax profits within the group resulted in an increase in the balance sheet value of shareholders' funds in each recent year. In March 2013, shareholders' funds rose by 16% to reach £35.2m.
Average employment in the group increased significantly by nearly 16% in 2012 and then by a further 13% in 2013 to average 1,418 employees over the year.