Construction materials group Breedon has announced that Rob Wood will take over as chief executive next month as it revealed a 49% fall in pre-tax profits.
In the 2020 calendar year, the group saw revenue largely static at £928.7m, compared to £929.6m in 2019, while profits before tax fell from £94.6m to £48.1m
Current group chief executive Pat Ward said: ‘The pandemic brought unprecedented pressures to bear on the Group in 2020, which demanded an exceptional response from everyone in our business and I would like to say thank you to all our stakeholders for their support during a difficult year.
'Most especially I would like to thank our colleagues who have worked tirelessly and enabled us to recover strongly in the second half to deliver a very creditable outcome for the year.
‘Although we remain mindful of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, with the worst of the pandemic now hopefully behind us and some welcome clarity on Brexit, I believe the prospects for Breedon and for our industry are increasingly positive.
'With robust commitments from the UK and Irish governments to infrastructure investment and continuing long-term demand for housing, forecasters are expecting this year and next to see steady growth in demand for our products in both countries.’
Chairman Amit Bhatia said that Breedon’s recent acquisition of CEMEX UK ‘significantly expands our footprint in the UK, giving us an additional 170 million tonnes of reserves and resources and accelerates our asphalt growth strategy, enabling us to commence expanding our contracting operations which are an increasingly important route to market for our products’.
Breedon confirmed that Mr Wood, currently group finance director, will take over from Mr Ward on 1 April 2021, although Mr Ward ‘will remain available to the Board until the end of the year’.
James Brotherton, who joined Breedon as chief financial officer designate in January, will succeed will join the board on 1 April as chief financial officer, with Helen Miles joining Breedon as a non-executive director on the same date.