Biffa sees ‘steady recovery’ of essential services demand

Sustainable waste management business Biffa plc says it is seeing a ‘steady recovery’ in the demand for its essential services as it releases a trading update for the year to date.

Trading in the first three months of FY21 has been slightly ahead of Biffa’s base case scenario, which was developed at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the ongoing remobilisation of the economy, Biffa is continuing to see a ‘steady recovery’ in the demand for its essential services.

Overall Group revenues, which in April were c.70% of pre-COVID-19 run rates, recovered in June to c.83% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

The Industrial and Commercial (I&C) revenues during July are back to over 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels and landfill revenues are over 70% versus their low points in April.

The Group is continuing to explore ways of improving efficiency across all areas of its business and has remained underlying EBITDA positive throughout the lockdown period and was underlying EBIT positive in June. 

Following the £100m equity raise at the start of June, the Group has recommenced its investment programme which will enable it to deliver its ambitious sustainability goals and growth in shareholder returns.

The Collections division has secured pleasing levels of new business wins and headline terms have been agreed on three I&C acquisitions, with active negotiations taking place on several others.

The Resources & Energy division is making good progress with the second phase of its £27.5m rPET plastics recycling facility in Seaham, restarted investment in its £7m Washington plastics recycling facility, and is continuing to make progress with various other investments, including the Protos energy from waste opportunity.

The outlook for the rest of the year is dependent on how quickly the remaining restrictions are eased and the pace and shape of the economic recovery, Biffa says.

However, the Board remains ‘extremely pleased’ with the Group’s performance throughout this difficult period and confident of its future growth prospects. 

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