Osborne sees profit after sale of infra business

Osborne has returned to profit, after completing a “major step” in its strategic plan by selling off its infrastructure business.

The contractor’s offsite business, Innovare, benefitted from the sale in September 2021, as it secured spots on two bumper government frameworks.

“[The sale of the infrastructure business] enable[s] us to make much greater use of modern methods of construction (MMC), such as offsite manufacturing and low-carbon technology, to build more energy-efficient spaces with lower embodied carbon,” said a statement from the group’s annual accounts for the period to 30 September 2021.

Osborne’s stronger focus on MMC nabbed it a spot on the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) £4bn Retrofit Innovation framework, along with two places on the Department for Education’s (DfE) 2021 Education Construction Framework, worth £7bn.

On both occasions, Innovare worked with contracting arm Geoffrey Osborne to focus on MMC opportunities and take places on the framework.

“With our offsite manufacturing business, Innovare, able to work closely with our development, construction and property services businesses, we believe we are well placed to take the market opportunities to address the challenges presented by climate change,” the report reads.

Osborne penned a profit before tax of £675,000 for the year, largely thanks to the profits it made from the sale of the infra business to private equity firm Sullivan Street. That compares to a loss of £14.97m in the 18 months to 30 September 2020.

Its turnover came in at £337.17m, down from the £559.97m achieved 18 months prior.

Company chief executive Dave Smith (pictured) said the coronavirus pandemic had caused “unprecedented disruption” across the world, which the company was “not immune to”.

“Whilst the group was able to make adjustments to allow COVID secure working, and enable our teams to continue to work as quickly and as safely as possible, the restricted working practices did impact volumes and productivity,” Smith added.

Despite continued challenges around the pandemic, inflation, supply-chain disruption, the Ukraine war and Brexit, Smith said the board was “confident” that Osborne would adapt to the changing market conditions in the next 12 months.

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