David Laing, chairman of the DJ Laing Group

The DJ Laing Group has reported an increase in profits following a loss in the previous year in its civil engineering, housebuilding and recycling operations.

The firm attributes the significant increase in profit to a number of key strategic changes made across the group’s operational activities over the last two years.

In October 2015 the waste processing operations at Gourdie, Dundee was sold to the NWH Group and this was followed by the sale of the wood processing activities at Petterden, also in Dundee in May 2017. The remaining activities within the recycling operations will complement the other areas of the group’s activities whilst allowing the management to focus on their core strength areas which have been key to the group’s previous success.

These significant disposals have also been complimented by other, less radical, but equally important strategic changes to the group.

Within the civil engineering division, a decision was made to reduce the level of activity in exchange for focussing on projects which would improve profitability. This, the firm said, has resulted in DJ LAING (CONTRACTS) LTD remaining competitive within the market and preserving the core team with an increased focus on providing an excellent service to new and existing clients in all practices areas, including new roads and infrastructure.

The moves have also been supplemented by an increased build programme within the house building division due to increased confidence within the local housing market. These decisions have allowed the group to focus on working with key clients and deliver high quality work which the groups’ reputation has been built on.

Gross profit margins have improved as have net profits despite turnover falling 22% and 5% year on year.

The enhanced level of activity in house building division in the Dundee and Angus areas, coupled with a positive outlook for the construction market generally, the directors remain optimistic for the year ahead.

David Laing, chairman of the DJ Laing Group, said: “Our profits have improved greatly this year, driven primarily by a number of key strategic changes made across the group’s operational activities over the last two years. Our board of directors had recognised that our previous business operations were not a sustainable long term business model. A decision was made at the expense of turnover, to concentrate on our core strength areas (house building and civil engineering) in Tayside and Fife rather than taking on work which had lower margins further afield.

“We are committed to improving the efficiency of our operations that will ensure the long term future of the Group and provide stability for our trusted workforce. The support and commitment demonstrated by the DJ Laing team to provide a quality product and the best possible service to our clients has ensured that our business has remained resilient and competitive within our industry sectors. It is this dedication that will drive our business forward to greater success.”