Polypipe is a leading European supplier of plastic building products and ventilation systems. UK operations address a broad range of sectors including residential, commercial and civil building demand and a number of subsectors within them.
The 2018 trading year was characterised by weather-affected H1 trading and improved underlying y-o-y revenue performances in H2 in both divisions, each of which also absorbed an acquisition towards the end of the period. Underlying profitability improved marginally though would have been stronger but for some production inefficiencies at higher volumes in certain lines. The Manthorpe and Permavoid acquisitions both appear to have settled quickly into the group. They were responsible for net debt increasing to c £164m at the year end, with good recurring underlying cash flow characteristics also in evidence. Exits from manufacturing operations in France and the Middle East were also completed during the year. AGM comments point to an 8% y-o-y revenue uplift (+3% underlying) for FY19 to the end of April and, broadly speaking, both reporting divisions have progressed by this extent.
Construction Products Association estimates currently project modest overall growth in output from the UK construction sector in 2019. Private housebuilding is expected to continue to grow while commercial building activity is currently expected to be lower.