Business-critical sustainability, local responsibilities and long-term trust: our Chairman and Chief Executive reflect on performance over the last 12 months.
Our markets remained challenging in 2014 although we began to see signs of improvement that we expect to continue this year, subject to there being a sustained economic recovery. We continued to be very selective in terms of choosing the contracts for which we bid, as we have done throughout the economic downturn, and this was reflected in our underlying operating margin, which remains unchanged at 5.6%.
The Group’s total revenue was also unchanged at £4.1 billion, with underlying profit before tax marginally lower at £172.9 million (2013: £174.7 million) and underlying earnings per share at 33.7 pence (2013: 34.7 pence). Basic earnings per share increased by 20% to 28.0 pence (2013: 23.3 pence) and the Board is recommending a 1% increase in the full-year dividend to 17.75 pence.
Overall, we delivered another solid performance, but recent history tells us that we need to remain totally focused on strong corporate governance, high standards of ethical behaviour and rigorous risk management. Our balanced and ambitious commitments to economic, social and environmental responsibility underpin our drive to become and remain a leader in sustainability.Back to top
Sustainability is so important to Carillion because it makes a fundamental difference to our business success. It is not all about the bottom line as the health, safety and welfare of our people and those touched by our operations always comes first. However, economic responsibility is a key element of a balanced sustainability strategy, and we estimate that it contributed £27.2 million to our profit in 2014. Given our local commitments across contracts and projects, this also created many wider benefits for the communities in which we operate, for our own people and for our suppliers and partners.
We are helping to regenerate deprived neighbourhoods, offering employment where it’s most needed and training people to have the right skills to enter and stay in the job market. We are also tackling carbon emissions from our sites, offices, vehicle fleets and supply chains and I am pleased to report a further 17% reduction in carbon emissions since 2011, when normalised by turnover.
All these achievements are down to the skills and commitment of our diverse workforce, which drives the creativity and innovation we need to compete across all our markets and geographies. Investing in safety, training and diversity is not optional, but business critical, and we remain focused on our target of zero accidents.
It is easy to say that ethics and integrity are of paramount importance, but at Carillion we really mean it. In particular, we were proud to win the PWC Building Public Trust award for the second year in succession – the first time that a FTSE 250 company has done so – and gain the Investing in Integrity Charter Mark from the Institute of Business Ethics.
I believe the breadth, depth and success of our sustainability programme confirms that Carillion is a recognised leader in sustainability. In this report we have set out the evidence to support our claim. At the same time, we know we still have a great deal to do to deliver our sustainability strategy and its positive outcomes, but I am confident we will do so.Back to top
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