Annual Report 2016 - Page 18

Annual Report 2016 STRATEGIC REPORT SSI Services is in a strong position to continue to grow due to the strategic decisions that have been taken throughout the year. Over 1,700 SSI Services employees “We continue to focus on developing a strong Health and Safety based culture.” 16 Overview SSI Services is the Group’s specialist infrastructure contracting division. We provide a broad range of specialist infrastructure based services from design through to installation, testing and repair to long-term maintenance. Our focus is on regulated environments and legislative needs, managing client risk and using specialist technologies to provide added value. SSI Services is made up of three business areas: Clean Water, comprising IWS Mechanical and Electrical Services (IWS M&E) and Hydrosave; OnSite; and Water Hygiene which also trades as IWS. In addition Omega Red, which provides lightning protection and electrical earthing services, also trades as part of SSI Services. We have developed a broad customer base across both the public and private sectors from major water utilities, infrastructure providers, government agencies and local authorities through to major contractors and facilities management (FM) companies. Whilst we historically mainly worked in the water and wastewater sector, we are now increasingly operating in the water hygiene, rail, power generation, industrial and construction markets, reducing the division’s reliance on the water and wastewater sector. Our strategy is to deliver these services through a number of specialist operating companies using a nationwide mobile operation and maintaining long-term relationships with our customers, providing a quality service at competitive prices. The division has over 1,700 employees, all of whom are key to the division’s success, with the majority operating remotely and in often challenging environments. Health and Safety is therefore very important to us and we continue to focus on developing a strong Health and Safety based culture across all of our businesses. We have achieved our safety targets through the year, resulting in a year-on-year reduction in both the frequency rates and severity of accidents. Review of last year The division had a very positive year, despite a challenging first five months of the year due to a slow start to customer activity. However, tight cost control initiatives were implemented and these measures largely mitigated the negative impact of initial difficult trading conditions. Subsequently, as revenue levels started to increase during the year and net margins improved due to the lower operational cost base, the division