I would like to offer you all the very warmest welcome back to work and to this New Year, January 2021.

I sincerely hope that you all had a well deserved rest over the Christmas and New Year break and that you are suitably refreshed to tackle what lays in front of us. I know that not all of you were able to completely stop work as we did have some projects carrying on over the Christmas period, most notably our bridge deck surfacing works in Melbourne. A special thanks to our Australian team and of course to anyone else in Centura who worked over the break.

As we start 2021 there are 2 notable events that will affect all of us. Firstly of course is the settlement of the UK Brexit trade agreement with the EU. It has taken the government since 2016 to finalise this deal and it was certainly taken to the wire. Irrespective of your views on the matter uncertainty is the greatest enemy to our economic progress. As far as I understand our new relationship with the EU there will be little effect on Centura and its subsidiaries. There are no trading tariffs and hopefully no supply issues with imported materials. No doubt there will be some teething problems as we all learn the new rules and regulations but I believe these will be short lived. Importantly our clients and customers can plan more easily for the future and I believe that the UK will become an increasingly attractive country to invest in. It will have no negative impact on Centura.

Secondly we have all learned over Christmas that Covid 19 is still very much in the community. The expected second wave has arrived and it seems to be having a very similar effect on our lives as the first wave. The arrival of the vaccines will help to change the situation but it will still be a while until we can see the back of the virus. There will be continued impact on all of us. I urge you to take this situation seriously to protect yourselves, your families and your work colleagues. As I write this Centura and all its companies will be able to continue working as there are no overall restrictions on construction related activities. But we must follow the rules and guidelines whenever we are required to do so.

Centura starts 2021 with an improving order book and a very long list of wonderful opportunities. The respect of our clients for our integrity and professionalism continues to grow. Our position on long term trading frameworks is improving, alongside our repeat workload.

2020 was a difficult year for us, and of course for many other companies. We all worked hard to understand the issues and because of your efforts we start 2021 leaner and fitter than before. The impact of the new management team in CRL is already being felt. Our image is being refreshed and our working efficiencies are improving. In 2021 our new financial software packages will finally be fully operational offering speed and simplicity to all our business functions.

I want you all to be proud of Centura. We have supported and encouraged the careers of hundreds of people through the years and those people have in turn helped to develop and improve this great company. We have successfully worked through 2020, probably the most difficult period in the companies’ history. We can now look forward to an exciting 2021.

I hope you are all able to stay safe and well and I thank you all for your tenacity and support.

A very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.