Year of consolidation and investment for Esh Border Construction

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips

Shareholders at Scottish-based Esh Border Construction were told this week that consolidation and investment were the key focuses in 2015 as profit at the firm fell but turnover remained steady.

The Livingston-based company, part of Esh Group, generated turnover of £275 million, similar to 2014, in the year to the end of December, 2015.

Profit before tax was down at £8.6m, while cash balance was £29m.

Brian Manning CEO said: “This is a good performance and a credit to the hard-working employees and supply chain partners.

“2015 was always anticipated as a year of consolidation in terms of turnover given the growth in 2014.

“Profit has been affected by a number of factors including; market conditions, investments in business outside Scotland and costs ahead of a major IT project.”

Esh Border Construction has firmly established its place in Scotland since opening a regional office in Livingston last year, supporting further growth prospects and helping to secure new business wins.

Among Scottish successes, Esh Border Construction was named the appointed contractor on Historic Scotland’s £8.9milion Engine Shed project in Forthside, Stirling, which is due to open later this year.

The company also recently announced several new contract wins, including:

  • A £2m contract to extend three local primary schools for West Lothian Council

  • The construction of Midlothian Council’s new £1.9m Eastfield Farm Care Facility
  • A £1.6m contract with NHS Borders to build their new Roxburgh Health Centre
  • Scottish Borders Council Wilton Lodge New Café project worth £900,000
  • A £645,000 deal with City of Edinburgh Council to renovate East Craig Primary School’s gym and assembly hall.

  • The company, which employs more than 100 people in Scotland, has also been appointed to Glasgow City Council’s framework for public sector construction works – with project values between £5m and £15m – the first of which is a project to repair parapets on the Balmuildy Bridge in the north of the city.

    Esh Border Construction also placed at 54 on the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, which ranks the UK’s private companies with the fastest growing profits over three years.

    The Esh share scheme – which already captures more than 180 employees – has delivered significant gains to date and further rewards to management and employees going forward are in place to recognise hard work and performance.

    Shareholders were also told of work carried out by Esh Charitable Trust and Esh Added Value – the two supporting elements of Esh Group’s community work.

    During the year the platforms supported the national, award-winning Building My Skills initiative which introduces secondary school children to employability skills and leads them into work experience, apprenticeship and job opportunities. This included six schools in Scotland from five local authority areas, delivering in excess of 3,200 learner hours to over 600 pupils, , with plans to grow the initiative for 2016/17.

    Esh Communities – Esh Group’s financial support platform for community projects – delivered more than £40,000 in grants to 39 projects, including seven in Scotland.

    The business aims to increase grants delivered to £50,000 across 50 projects in 2016.

    Brian Manning added: “These results show a successful, diversified strategy which is working not just to the benefit of our own employees, supply chain and customers but also the communities in which we operate.

    “The construction industry is showing signs of sustained recovery, and with our strong cash position, Esh Group is well positioned to lead the new opportunities with our partners once areas such as Devolution and the EU are more settled.”

    Regional managing director, Simon Phillips, said: “We have been delighted with the performance of our of Livingston office since opening in March last year.

    “Whilst consolidating our position, we are also actively looking to build the business and are targeting new opportunities across the central belt.

    “The team has enjoyed a steady pipeline of work including three local primary schools, new build developments, sympathetic regeneration work, and high quality social housing, and as a company we are committed to the Scottish market and to growing the business north of the border.”

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