Biffa announces positive net result, new CEO

Ian Wakelin (photo: Biffa)
14.06.2018 − 

The past financial year was a "pleasing year of organic and acquisitive growth" for British waste group Biffa. The company's net revenues, excluding landfill tax, jumped by nearly 9 per cent to £978m (ca. €1.11bn). The increase was due in equal parts to acquisitions and organic growth, the concern reported on 13 June. Biffa booked a statutory profit of £31m (€ ) after tax, bouncing back from a 2016/17 loss of nearly £11m. The company booked a one-time charge of £29m in that year in connection with its IPO.

In his overview, CEO Ian Wakelin pointed to seven take-overs carried out in the past financial year closed on 30 March 2018 and reported that Biffa expected to make further acquisitions in the current year. Progress had also been made in evaluating the feasibility of two energy from waste projects together with partner Covanta. "We expect to announce an investment in due course," said Mr Wakelin.

The only major headwinds had been the tightening of Chinese import requirements leading to a decline in commodities prices in the second financial half. Biffa had reacted by improving the quality of its recyclate and restructuring contracts to shift a greater share of the commodities price risk to customers and now believed that the short-term challenges in recycling markets had been addressed. However, the overall situation was not expected to improve until the 2019/20 financial year.

The company also announced yesterday that Mr Wakelin would be succeeded by CFO Michael Topham once a new CFO can be found. According to Biffa, Mr Wakelin told the board that he no longer wished to hold a full-time executive role. He will leave the company after eight years as its CEO once a succession plan has been implemented. Both Mr Wakelin and Mr Topham joined Biffa in 2010, when the company took over its competitor Greenstar which had been founded by Mr Wakelin.

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