Fit-out division stars for ISG

Matt Blowers (right) succeeded Paul Cossell (left) as ISG chief executive at the start of 2022

Group revenue was up 20% for ISG in 2021 to £2.2bn (2020: £2.0bn) and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £18.5m, up from £8.9m in 2020

Underlying earnings before interested, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were £43.4m (2020: £37.6m).

ISG entered 2022 with £119.9m net cash, a record £1.6bn order book (up by £100m during the year) and no debt.

It is another solid performance by the company since its takeover by young Texan billionaire William Harrison (via his Cathexis private equity vehicle) for £85m in 2016, when it de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. William Harrison, aged 36 this year, remains chairman of the company.

The Fit-Out business had a particularly strong year; in fact it was the only one of the group’s three divisions to show growth, although Construction also improved its profits.

In 2021 ISG’s Fit Out business generated revenue of £1,393.7m (2020: £1,042.3m), Ebitda of £36.5m (2020: £28.9m) and ended the year with a forward order book of £776.8m (2020: £699.5m).

The Construction business had revenue of £669.6m (2020: £690.8m), Ebitda of £4.4m (2020: £1.9m) and ended the year with a forward order book of £530.5m (2020: £498.9m).

The Engineering Services business generated revenue of £163.6m (2020: £293.3m), Ebitda of £2.5m (2020: £6.8m) and ended the year with a forward order book of £263.4m (2020: £312.4m).

Chief executive Matt Blowers, who took over from Paul Cossell at the start of 2022, said: “I am pleased to be able to report that, despite the ongoing uncertainties and disruption caused by Covid-19, 2021 saw us start returning to the levels of growth we were seeing before the pandemic.”

He added: “Our strong foundations and continuous focus on optimising innovation and efficiencies have enabled the ISG business to quickly re-establish its financial trajectory, characterised by the largest forward order book in our history.

“Our industry stepped up during the pandemic in an outstanding display of solidarity, innovation and commitment, and we all recognise that the next frontier is our response to the growing impact of climate change. The scale of this challenge is immense and our approach must be multi-faceted, from attracting the brightest talent into our sector, investing in greater R&D spend, transforming our construction approaches and methods, and greater integration with our smart supply chain partners.

“It’s also about harnessing technology and taking greater accountability for our solutions, forging long term relationships with our stakeholders, and delivering facilities that improve lives, generate prosperity and legacy without harming our planet. Our financial resilience and dynamic 2021 response underscores the importance of holding true to our vision and values, and I’m confident that we will continue to play a leading role in the ongoing transformation of our industry.”

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