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Viridor's profit soars by 35%

Viridor’s profit before tax rose by 34.8% for the year ended 31 March on the previous year, while its parent company Pennon Group has revealed a 14.2% growth in profit before tax.

Pennon Group, which also owns South West Water, earned £189.1m before tax over the past year, with Viridor earning £55.4m. Viridor’s revenue was also up by 18.7% to £626.5m.

Viridor’s earnings are in contrast to Shanks’ recently announced 24% loss in profit before tax and a 17% drop in trading profit, which it blamed on the recession and the bad weather over the winter period.(See MRW story)

According to Viridor’s preliminary financial results for the year, stronger recyclate prices and increasing recycling volumes have helped push up its profit. As the UK’s largest materials recycling facility operator, recycling volumes traded increased by 3.5% against the previous year and the quality of the material was better, proving to be more valuable. In turn, gate fees have improved and contributed to profits.

Viridor chairman Ken Harvey said “This has been another successful year for the Group. Viridor has once again delivered a very strong financial performance. The Greater Manchester Waste PFI contract, Lakeside energy from waste project and the latest acquisitions are further major steps forward in the successful evolution of Viridor.”

Like Shanks, Viridor has identified private finance initiative and public private partnership contracts as a key factor moving forward. Already involved with the Greater Manchester waste PFI, Viridor is the preferred bidder for the Oxfordshire PPP and is shortlisted for the Cheshire PFI, South West Devon Waste Partnership, Gloucester PFI and South London Waste Partnership.

The business is also targeting further growth in the renewable energy sector, exploring potential EfW opportunities in Cardiff, Dunbar and Ardley near Oxford, which are all undergoing planning appeals following the rejection of local planning permission. Avonmouth and Plymouth are other possible sites for EfW facilities. It has also received planning permission to build two anaerobic digestion plants at Beddington near Croydon and Walpole, Somerset.

Having acquired recycling operation London Recycling and plastics recycler Intercontinental Recycling – which is now trading as Viridor Polymer Recycling – Viridor has demonstrated its move towards resource recovery. These two acquisitions plus its Greater Manchester Waste subcontract accounted for £89.7m of its £626.5m revenue, which was up by 18.7% on 2009.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Good to hear people banging the drum for this unloved but reliable renewable source. Waste is an energy source right on our doorsteps, so it offers not just baseload electricity but avoids the grid problems of wind. But this ball is already rolling fast – don’t forget that the Government’s favourite renewable technology - anaerobic digestion – turns waste into energy. And the smart investment is going into hi-tech sorting of waste, so that if it’s burnt for energy, the plastics and other pollutants have already been removed.

    Matt Taylor
    Environmental Infrastructure Team Partner, Foresight Group

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