6 March 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Biffa boosted by ‘stabilised’ municipal division

Biffa plc has announced that a boost in its recovery & treatment division – and ‘improving’ commodity prices – has seen trading in the 2018/19 financial year progress on target.

And, the company reported that performance in its municipal division had ‘stabilised’, following what it had described as a “competitive market” in 2017/18.

A trading statement from Biffa has said its full-year results are anticipated to be in line with expectations

The waste management company issued a trading update this morning (March 6) ahead of its results for the 2018/19 financial year, which it says are anticipated to be “in line with the board’s expectations”.

The company, which was listed on the stock exchange in 2016, “has continued to deliver organic and acquisitive net revenue growth in the trading period which will result in underlying EBITDA growth for the full year”.

Specifically, the company said its resource recovery & treatment division has “significantly improved” versus the second half of last year with a strong operational performance and “commodity prices improving”.

PET plant

It added that it had received planning permission for the PET plastic bottle recycling site in Seaham, County Durham (see letsrecycle.com story) which it expects  to be fully commissioned and operational by April 2020.

In November 2018, Biffa’s half year results saw its net revenue jump 4.2% to £501.8m compared with the same period during the preceding year, while its operating profit after tax fell marginally to £24.9m (see letsrecycle.com  story).

Biffa explained then that while revenues and profits dropped in the municipal division, in part due to the expiry of its Stafford and Surrey Heath contracts in the prior period, performance has since stabilised.

Now, Biffa says that its trading performance in the municipal and the energy divisions has continued to perform in line with expectations.

Biffa also provided an update on it discussions with Covanta concerning the potential development of two Energy Recovery facilities in Cheshire and Leicestershire.

While timescales for both facilities have not been disclosed, the company said in the update that the plans are continuing, with arrangements for financing, operations and maintenance and waste supply ‘substantially complete’.

“Progress is also being made in aligning environmental permits and negotiating with the short-listed Engineering, Procurement and Construction build contractors,” the statement added.

Financial close is not expected however before Biffa’s full year results in June, “at which time a more detailed update on the projects will be provided”.

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