Waste management company Biffa has unveiled lower revenue in the first half of its financial year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Group net revenue fell to £482.5 million in the first half of its 2021 financial year compared to £588.9 million in the comparable period in its 2020 financial year.
However, net revenue improved markedly in the second quarter once the first lockdown ended to £256.3 million from £202.5 million in the first quarter.
Following a £100 million equity raise in June, £40 million has been allocated to acquisitions including the recent purchase of Simple Waste. A further £40 million is being committed to plastic recycling at Washington and Aldridge and the Protos Energy from Waste development.
Biffa has said that despite the upcoming lockdown, that having successfully negotiated the first lockdown, it expects short-term uncertainty but the board’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Chief executive Michael Topham said: “I am very pleased with the performance of the business and the progress we have made in delivering our strategic objectives in the first half of the year, in extremely challenging circumstances. We responded swiftly to the first wave of the pandemic and have emerged strongly in recent months with group net revenue in September recovering to 93% of prior year levels. This is ahead of our base case expectations and demonstrates the resilience of our model.
“Our £100m equity raise in June enabled us to continue to invest in growing the business, in line with our strategy. Since June we have committed c. £40m in value-enhancing acquisitions in our I&C business and are at an advanced stage of committing in excess of a further £40m into green economy infrastructure development. These investments will help to build a stronger, more sustainable business for when we emerge from the pandemic.
“While we are pleased with the recent momentum in our trading performance and the progress in delivering our strategic investment programme, we remain cautious in our outlook for the second half of the financial year, particularly in light of the further lockdown measures announced by the UK Government for England. Nevertheless, having successfully navigated the first lockdown, and due to the underlying strength of the Group’s performance over recent months, at this stage, our expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
“My thanks go out to all of Biffa’s stakeholders, and in particular our team, for their hard work and ongoing commitment in delivering Biffa’s essential service throughout this testing time.”