I would like to update everyone in Centura as to where we find ourselves at the end of 2020.

This time last year we were experiencing normal trading across most parts of our Group. At the end of 2019 our sales had dropped a little as we completed a number of major projects, but our prospects for the future remained encouraging. As a country we had voted in the General Election and the results meant that the UK Government was more stable and better prepared to negotiate Brexit.

Then we moved in to 2020 and the Covid pandemic arrived, unexpected and certainly not planned for. Within a matter of days our “Normal” trading collapsed to almost nothing. As a private company we rely totally on our cash reserves and of course our cash flow. During that period in March and April our teams were required to manage and understand circumstances and changes that none of us had experienced before. Not only was the cash position of the company put under significant pressure, but we all had to cope with social distancing, virus transmission and at the same time to continue to provide a safe place of work. How did we manage?

The majority of our projects were postponed not by us but by our clients who of course were also trying to understand this “New Normal”. After a while our clients recognised the issues being experienced by their contractors and suppliers and worked extremely hard to help us all get back to work. The Government supported construction and our clients supported us.

Then came the furlough scheme which soon became a lifeline for companies such as ours, especially during the periods before we were allowed back on sites. The scheme helped dramatically with our cash flow and enabled us to begin to plan for fewer restrictions and a return to our sites and offices.

But the most crucial during these last 10 months has been the support, the loyalty and above all the innovation and enthusiasm of all of you, our employees. There is not one person in the Group who has not been affected by the pandemic. Everyone has borne some level of financial sacrifice. Everyone has had to understand and change their working practices. Alongside this everyone has had to deal with all the personal, private and family issues caused by this virus. I cannot imagine how we could have performed better as a team in these totally unknown situations.

And now we approach the end of 2020, this most challenging of years. As we look forward to 2021 we are currently well ahead with achieving the targets that we have set ourselves. Our cash management has been robust and our new management teams are already showing their effectiveness and their innovative thinking.

We are approaching the Christmas break in a few days. I know that some of you will be required to work on selected projects over the holiday and I thank you all for that commitment.

For everyone else please be proud of the Company that you work for, be mindful of the part that you have played and the sacrifices you have made to ensure the continued success of our great organisation. Relax with family and loved ones over the next few days and let’s all return in January fit and ready to push forward as part of this brilliant team.
A Very Peaceful and Healthy Christmas Break to you all.