The near-daily news around road and rail tunnels in Sydney and Melbourne, skylines full of cranes, and now government promises of largesse for bushfire recovery, infrastructure is proving it will remain a potent sector in 2020.

Little known Acrow Formwork (ASX:ACF) is one of the few companies professional investors have their eye on in the sector.

Yesterday it announced a new contract, worth potentially $2-3m, for the Sydney Metro Barangaroo Station, a key junction of a new sub-harbour train line.

BKH Group, the company working on the Crown hotel development at Barangaroo, ordered scaffolding (a “high load shoring system”, in industry parlance) from Acrow to be delivered in April and May.

The contract is being taken as a good sign for a stock that has struggled over the last 23 months.

It follows a $2.75m contract win providing formwork propping solutions for Sun Metals Zinc Refinery in October.


Although fund managers like Perennial Value Management’s Andrew Smith and billionaire investor Alex Waislitz said last year Acrow was one of their infrastructure picks, the stock is yet to reflect that confidence.

Acrow shares rose 3 per cent on the news today to 36c and are off five-year lows reached in October, but are still down 25 per cent from the 12-month high.

But a shift from residential works mainly in Queensland, its main business when it listed in 2018, to East Coast civil works and infrastructure as well as a backlog of deferred public projects means its order book is fat this financial year.

It acquired Queensland formwork, industrial scaffolding and labour hire company Uni-span in October last year for $21.25m, which immediately added an extra 22 per cent to earnings per share (EPS).