Market takes toll on Story profits


Story Contracting said it will continue to diversify its portfolio following a ‘challenging’ financial period that saw a slip in profits for the Carlisle-headquartered construction engineering company. 

Credit: Story.

Turnover for the year ended 31 March 2023 was up, reported at £206.3 million, compared to £158.4 million in the prior period.  

The challenges 

“2022/23 was another year of considerable growth for the business, notably reflected in the substantial increase in sales within its rail division. Nonetheless, the year posed persistent macroeconomic challenges, including escalating inflation and ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain that have impacted margins on several projects tendered prior to the […] period,” said Story.  

Adding: “Story […] depends heavily on the rail sector so, in order to mitigate risks, continues to reinforce its resilience through strategic reinvestment of profits into its diversification strategies.” 


“Sales in the Construction division have shown moderate growth in the period, with sales now having returned to pre-pandemic levels,” said Story. “Whilst the division has experienced a downturn in the housing sector, primarily due to Nutrient Neutrality requirements’ impact on the customer base, the order book remains in a strong position from its manufacturing and local authority clients as well as having been awarded a structures package working for Galliford Try on the Carlisle Southern Link Road project.” 

Gross profit for Story was £19.3 million compared to £25 million in FY2022, while operating profit was £2.8 million compared to £7.6 million the prior year. 

Profit before tax was £3 million (FY2022: £8.8 million), while profit for the year was £2.4 million (FY2022: £7.9 million). 

Story’s cash position was reported at £3.5 million, compared to £7.1 million in the previous period.  

No dividend was paid in the financial period (FY2022: £2 million) – however a dividend of £5 million was declared in December 2023 and was due for payment this month. 

Net assets were valued at nearly £45 million (FY2022: £42.2 million). 

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