The business was founded in Wembley by Richard Henry Biffa in 1912.
Biffa Group Limited is a waste management company headquartered in High Wycombe, United Kingdom. It provides collection, landfill, recycling and special waste services to local authorities and industrial and commercial clients in the UK. As of 2012 it is the second-largest UK-based waste management company.
Today Biffa considers it is the largest waste management company in the UK with 54,000 customers, handling hundreds of thousands of containers and having 6,000 employees.
“Is this the most recession-proof share you can buy?
Ian Pierce | Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017 | More on: BIFF EXPN
Image: Biffa: Fair use
Investors looking for a defensive, non-cyclical business may be interested in one of the LSE’s newest members, waste management firm Biffa (LSE: BIFF). After all, consumers and companies alike produce garbage and recycling even during recessions, so it stands to reason Biffa may be a solid non-cyclical stock.
But that’s not entirely the case because waste management firms are generally paid per tonne of trash or recycling collected. That means when the economy implodes and consumers buy less and produce less trash, the firms that collect it suffer.
However, this does not mean Biffa isn’t an attractive stock to own for the long term. Due to regulatory pressure in the past few years, the company has transitioned away from simple trash collection and landfill ownership into recycling and energy production as well.
The business is now much more diversified than it was when it was taken private several years ago and in 2016 its waste collection contracts with businesses and municipal governments accounted for only 48% of underlying operating profits.
This is still a significant chunk, but investors should be relieved that pre-sold energy production accounted for a full 45% of underlying operating profits during the period. This energy is generated through anaerobic digestion from the company’s landfills and is a reliable source of renewable energy.
Biffa’s overall health is still tied to the economic cycle but the company today is looking relatively diversified, is growing organically and through acquisitions and is doing well to re-position itself as a leader in an increasingly regulated industry. With stellar dividend potential in the medium term and an attractive valuation of 10.7 times forward earnings, the company is worth a closer look for investors willing to get dirty.”
"Atrévete a Vivir la Vida que has Imaginado" Henry James