Saturday 18 August 2018

Profits up at Actavo on strong UK growth

Businessman Denis O'Brien. Photo: Tony Gavin
Businessman Denis O'Brien. Photo: Tony Gavin
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Industrial services group Actavo, which has its roots in Siteserv, saw its reported earnings slip to €27.2m last year from €28.8m in 2015 as it continued to invest in the group.

Majority-owned by billionaire Denis O'Brien, Actavo has been expanding its geographic footprint and customer base, helping to boost its reported revenue last year to €455.7m from €430.8m a year earlier.

The company, which manages services for a suite of household names such as Sky, Virgin Media, Heineken, Scottish Power and Sisk, said yesterday that it had an order book at the end of June this year totalling more than €900m for contracts.

It added that more than 90pc of the group's 2017 target revenues were contractually secured by that date.

Actavo generated €103.9m of its revenue in Ireland last year.

"The UK is our strongest market and currently accounts for over 65pc of our revenues," said CEO and chairman Sean Corkery.

"We believe the nature of our business model, together with our client focus, places our UK business in a strong position to manage any of the potential outcomes of Brexit."

In 2016, Actavo won new business including a fibre-to-the-premises contract with Virgin Media as part of the company's £3bn UK network expansion. It also won a contact with Virgin Media in Ireland.

In 2017, it won a five-year contract with Airtricity owner SSE to support the power firm's electrical and other inspection services across Britain, as well as another five-year smart metering contract with Scottish Power.

That will see Actavo install almost one million smart meters in England.

The group said that earlier this year, it increased its banking facilities with AIB and Bank of Ireland, "positioning the business to take advantage of opportunities, particularly in the network and in-home division".

Actavo, which employs more than 6,000 people in more than 100 locations around the world, operates in a number of sectors including event management, education, healthcare, nuclear energy and petrochemicals. It added more than 1,100 jobs last year.

In Ireland, the company has provided services to events such as the St Patrick's Day Festival, Electric Picnic and Bloom. It has also provided off-site accommodation during construction projects at Dublin's Capital Docks and other schemes. The company also has contracts with Denis O'Brien's Digicel telecoms firm in the Caribbean.

In June, the Irish Independent reported that Actavo had hired corporate advisers in a move that could be a precursor to a stock market IPO or fundraising.

The company declined to comment again yesterday.

Irish Independent

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