Billington revealed today that 61-year-old Ian Lawson will take over as its non-executive chairman on 1st October 2018.
Ian Lawson joined Severfield as chief executive in November 2013 after losing his job on the board of Kier, where he ran the Services and Property divisions. At Severfield he is credited with turning the business around after it made heavy losses on the Cheesegrater.
However, he was forced to take leave of absence in March 2017 due to ill health. Initially temporary, his absence was formally made permanent in January 2018.
Billington chief executive Mark Smith said: “We are delighted to welcome Ian Lawson to the Billington Holdings Plc board. His wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry will be invaluable in guiding Billington. The roles Ian has previously held in the wider construction industry will bring a new perspective which will have a further positive impact on group performance and results.”
News of Mr Lawson’s appointment came as Billington reported a dip in pre-tax profit to £1.94m for the six months to 30th June 2018 (2017 H1: £2.24m). Revenue was up 15% to £39.4m (2017 H1: £34.3m).
“During the period, the company was subject to movements in steel prices and a tightening of profit margins,” Mr Smith explained. “However, Billington currently has a good forward order book and has secured a number of large, high quality projects to be undertaken in the second half of 2018, as well as exciting prospects for early 2019. This, together with continued market improvements, puts Billington in a robust position for the rest of 2018 and the company expects to meet its full year forecast.”