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Creating value in India remains a key strategic objective of the board

A strong India order book of (at 1 June 2023):


(2022: £143m 1 November 2022)

Group after-tax share of profit of:


(2022: £0.8m)



(2022: £6.8m)

Positive long-term growth predictions

The Group's joint venture in India, JSW Severfield Structures Limited ('JSSL') is an important part of its overall strategy. The Group holds a 50 per cent shareholding in JSSL alongside its partner JSW Steel Limited ('JSW'), India's largest steel producer. JSSL also has an interest of 67 per cent in an expanding metal decking business, JSWSMD Limited.

2023 performance

In 2023, the Indian joint venture (JSSL) continued to grow. This is evident in the Group's higher after-tax share of profit of £1.3m (2022: £0.8m) and a record EBITDA of £11m. The improved performance reflects an increase in revenue of 37 per cent to £137.7m (2022: £100.3m) and an improved operating margin of 6.3 per cent (2022: 5.2 per cent). Financing expenses of £5.1m (2022: £3.3m) are higher than the previous year, reflecting an increase in borrowings, partly driven by the impact of inflation on working capital, and in the cost of letters of credit which are linked to higher steel prices. These higher financing costs result in JSSL's operating profit of £8.7m (2022: £5.2m), which has increased by 67 per cent year-on-year, reducing to a profit before tax of £3.6m (2022: £1.9m).

Total output for 2023 was 108,000 tonnes, including sub-contracted work, an output equivalent to that of the Group's operations in the UK and Europe and a record for the business. Despite the increased activity, JSSL's health and safety record remained excellent with no lost time incidents ('LTI') recorded in the year. JSSL's factory operations have not recorded an LTI since 2014 and only one LTI has been recorded by its construction activities over the same nine-year period. The safety performance of the business has been recognised in previous years, resulting in many certificates and awards from clients and health and safety organisations in India.

Market developments

JSSL remains in a strong position to take advantage of an accelerating switch from concrete to steel. The use of fabricated steel in construction in India is c.10 per cent of the market, compared with more than 70 per cent in the UK and 50–60 per cent in the USA and Japan. In addition, over the coming years factory-made structural steel is expected to take market share from site-fabricated steel.

The construction sector in India is forecast to grow due to increased demand from real estate, infrastructure projects, retail, commercial and the hospitality sectors. Market forecasts are for structural steel in construction to increase more than threefold from 2020 to 2028. This outlook is helped by large infrastructure projects, similar to the UK. In 2019, the Indian government launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline ('NIP') with a view to invest $1.5 trillion in infrastructure by 2025. This underpins the wider outlook of the construction industry in India. The Indian population is also growing, and as the economy is expected to grow this should help create structural tailwinds.

There have also been a variety of reforms to accelerate the rate of construction. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, which came into force in 2017, aimed to increase transparency, accounting and efficiency. There have been a variety of other changes in legislation and policy, including RERA, GST, the National Disaster Management Act and Ease of Doing Business initiative. By 2030, the Indian real estate industry is expected to touch US$1 trillion, becoming the third largest globally.

Following JSSL's continued successful recovery from the effects of COVID-19, which is reflected its record EBITDA for 2023 of £11m, we have revalidated our Indian business plan. This process has reaffirmed the growth opportunities that we previously identified, including those in new and existing markets, and the significant value creation potential of JSSL. In conjunction with JSW, our joint venture partner, our plans to secure a plot of land in India to facilitate the future expansion of the business are well advanced. This land purchase will allow the business to expand its geographical footprint whilst providing it with the platform to expand quickly and add the necessary volume to support the expected future market growth.

Despite some recent market pressures, JSSL's clients have continued to place orders, resulting in a strong order book of £139m (1 November 2022: £143m). In terms of mix, 55 per cent of the order book represents higher margin commercial work, with the remaining 45 per cent representing industrial projects(1 November 2022: commercial work of 36 per cent, industrial work of 64 per cent).

JSSL's pipeline of potential orders continues to include several commercial projects for key developers and clients with whom it has established strong relationships, including commercial, data centre, healthcare, industrial and infrastructure projects. This, together with its strong order book, leaves the business very well-positioned to take advantage of an improving economy.


JSSL is well positioned for future market expansion. Since its inception over ten years ago it has built up a reputation as the number one design and build structural steel company in India, providing a full design, fabrication and site construction service. This fully integrated and expert offering gives clients, developers, architects, consultants and contractors confidence that complicated and changing project requirements can be delivered on time and within budget.

Through its performance and know-how, JSSL has established excellent strategic relationships with major construction players, positioning it well for the future.

JSSL has also established a network of strategic suppliers and subcontractors which it continually audits for health, safety, quality and assurance purposes, to support the further supply of certain fabricated steel products, all of which contribute to overall revenues.

Current and future operations

JSSL's operations are based on a 65-acre site in Bellary, Karnataka. The plant has been designed to optimise JSSL's product range, quality and productivity, as befitting the demands of the construction industry in India. Incorporating state-of-the-art technology and processing equipment, the plant is managed and operated by a growing workforce containing highly qualified, experienced people. Bespoke plated products and INDISEC® are manufactured on-site, offering clients a range of benefits.

The Indian JV, JSW Severfield Structures ('JSSL'), was founded in 2008. The facility is situated in the district of Bellary, Karnataka, on a 65-acre site and has an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes serving a wide range of sectors across the growing Indian market. The state-of-the-art fabrication facility is built on the same principles as Dalton, taking the learnings from that site. Derek Randall, who is the MD at JSSL is highly regarded.

Depending on mix, the capacity of the Bellary facility is c.100,000 tonnes per annum. The key characteristics of the plant are as follows:

  • The original configuration was two fabrication lines. Four narrower fabrication lines have been added in new factory space, following completion of the expansion in 2020. These service JSSL's target commercial and industrial sectors of multi-mix commercial, healthcare, data centres, retail and the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

  • A further INDISEC® plated beam line was added in 2020 to the existing two plated beam lines, together with a bit shop and additional painting facilities.

In response to the strong long-term growth projections for India, in conjunction with our joint venture partner, we are well advanced in plans to secure a plot of land. As Bellary is now approaching its maximum capacity, this land purchase will allow the business to expand its geographical footprint whilst providing it with the platform to build quickly to facilitate the future expansion of the business.


JSSL is benefiting from a bright market outlook as the switch from concrete to steel in construction in India accelerates, generating strong demand. The medium and longer-term growth predictions for India remain very positive. With JSSL's holistic design and build capability, its operational capability and capacity and its established network of suppliers and contractors, it is well set to take further advantage of both economic and sector growth.

Overall, we remain positive about the long-term development of the Indian market and of our ability to build further value in JSSL.