5 June 2020 by James Langley

Biffa posts profit increase in 2019/20

Waste management company Biffa reports its net revenue grew to more than £1.1 billion in the 2019/20 financial year, up 7% on the previous period.

The company published its preliminary financial results today (5 June), which covers the 52 weeks to 27 March.

Biffa reports its net revenue grew to more than £1.1 billion in the 2020 fiscal year

Biffa said in its results that its underlying operating profit was up 10.8% to £90.5 million. It attributed the increase to a strong performance from its collections division.

Michael Topham, chief executive of Biffa, said: “Events since March have, for obvious reasons, completely overshadowed what was otherwise a very successful year for Biffa.

“We delivered a strong set of financial results, continued to execute our exciting growth strategy, and committed to an ambitious 10-year sustainability strategy – ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ – which will see the Group unlock £1.25bn of investment in green economy infrastructure by 2030.”

Underlying earnings per share were up 12.1% to 23.1p in 2020. Biffa says this reflects reduced financing costs.

Collections

Biffa says organic net revenue from its industrial and commercial collections division grew by 1%, while acquisition net revenue grew by 8.3%.

It partly attributed the acquisition net revenue growth to its acquisition of outsourcing company SWRNewstar 12 months ago (see letsrecycle.com story).

Biffa also said it had mitigated the impact of soft commodity prices and the introduction of a tax on refuse derived fuel in the Netherlands (see letsrecycle.com story).

Coronavirus

Biffa added that its industrial and commercial and landfill businesses suffered the most severe impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, with revenues initially down 50%. The company says these businesses have started to recover, though revenues remain 40% down.

“Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, I am very proud of the way Biffa has responded”

Michael Topham

As part  of its Covid-19 cash conservation measures it has also recommended there should be no final dividend for the 2020 fiscal year.

Mr Topham said: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, I am very proud of the way Biffa has responded with a series of swift and decisive measures focused on protecting our people, continuing to serve our customers and maintaining our financial strength.

“Proactive steps to conserve cash have included temporarily suspending mergers and acquisitions activity and dividends; reducing capex, operating costs, pay and bonuses; utilising government assistance where appropriate and securing the necessary support from our lenders and suppliers.

“These actions have placed us in a strong position to withstand the immediate impact of the crisis as we continue to provide critical and sustainable infrastructure and services.”

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