The British waste management company Viridor has seen "significant improvement" in its recycling activities in the six months ended 30 September. According to parent company Pennon, which released its interim report for the first half of 2018/19 on Tuesday, Viridor's recycling operations had "bounced back" since last autumn and winter, when the stricter waste import policies announced by the Chinese threw markets into a tailspin. Recycling segment earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) soared 68 per cent to £7.4m (€8.4m, £1= €1.13) in sequential halves. In the last six months, the Ebitda margin for recycling had jumped by £5/t in sequential periods to reach £12/t after "some recovery in the global recycling markets". However, this was still £2/t lower it had been a full year earlier.
The market had recovered, but quality demands remained high and Viridor said it continued to face challenges with poor input quality. The company was responding by investing in facilities to improve output quality. Moving ahead, Viridor would concentrate particularly for high value recyclate, specifically polymers and high-grade paper, On the whole Pennon said it would continue to focus its waste operations on recycling and residual waste processing, including energy from waste and landfilling.
Compared to the first half of 2017/18, Viridor had achieved a 4 per cent increase in revenue, bringing it to £422.3m. This figure includes both landfill tax and construction spending on service concession arrangements. Adjusted operating earnings jumped 30 per cent to £42.1m. Viridor's underlying profit climbed 18 per cent to £36.2m. The underlying figures eliminate the impact of tax credits and changes in the value of derivatives in both the reporting and comparison periods and the effects of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority contract reset last year.