Property & Construction Daily

The Property & Construction Daily provides a sector-specific comment from leading analyst Alastair Stewart. His daily perspective provides a round-up of market statements, news, economics and views from the property and construction sectors.

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June 6, 2024

VANL, MTO | News – Estate agents and builders the nation’s worst smokers

Company news

Van Elle Holdings (VANL, 37p, £39m mkt cap)

Specialist ground engineering contractor. Settlement of legacy contract dispute. “On 31 March 2021, the group announced that, based on professional advice, the Board considered it probable that any potential financial impact would be limited to the excess payment pursuant to the terms of the group’s insurance policy, which had been provided for in previous years. The group is pleased to announce that the matter has now been resolved and settled within the group’s insured limits of cover”.

Mitie Group (MTO, 120p, £1,597m)

UK facilities management group. Rev +11%, £4,511m; adj op margin, 4,7% (FY 23, 4.0%); adj PBT +33%, £201m; stat PBT +48%, £156m; adj EPS +29%, 12.3p; divs +38%, 4.0p; net debt, £80.8m (£44.1m); ave net debt £161m (£84m).

Trading: “Our divisions are all performing well, with Technical Services, Central Government & Defence and Communities delivering double digit revenue growth, and Business Services more than replacing all of the revenue from certain short-term public sector contracts. As a result of this positive outturn, we have met or significantly exceeded all of the financial targets set out in the previous Three-Year Plan (FY 22 – 24).

Outlook: Orders +18%, £11.4bn. “We have now started to execute our new Facilities Transformation Three-Year Plan (FY 25 – 27), through which we expect to accelerate growth and extend Mitie’s market leadership position. Our confidence in achieving this is underpinned by a record £19bn pipeline of opportunities, through which we will add further Key Accounts and deliver transformational Projects in higher growth categories, as well as by strategic M&A, which will add to our existing Projects capabilities. We have secured a number of new contracts and projects in the fourth quarter of FY 24 and first quarter of FY 25, which give us good business momentum and we expect to offset, in the medium-term, the contracts lost and ending in FY 24. Margin enhancement initiatives are also expected to deliver further benefits in the current year, and we will continue to generate strong cash flows and enhanced shareholder returns”.

In other news …

Smoking and mental health. A UK-wide workplace survey has found that estate agents and construction are the sectors with the highest level of smoking, Property Industry Eye. The research, carried out by online retailer Haypp, reveals that more than half – 55% – of estate agents surveyed admitting to smoking every day – a significant increase from the national average of one in eight smokers. Builders and construction was second, at 48%, ahead of social care (47%), hospitality (44%) and management (44%). Stress (60% of respondents), anxiety (43%), and general irritation (33%) were identified as the three main factors that stop people from kicking the habit. Five of the top ten causes of smoking were work related with 25% smoking to release tension, 24% smoking after a hard day at work, 22% smoking to go on a break, 21% smoking when they’re under pressure, and an additional 21% smoke more often when they are dealing with an increased workload.

Viewpoint: A pointed reminder of high level of stress that is symptomatic of much of the wider property and construction sector, and the importance of supporting mental health initiatives in the workplace.


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