Hills Building Services goes bust as M&E crisis worsens

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
Share

The sharp downturn in building services work and cut-throat bidding has claimed another high profile M&E contractor.

Screen Shot 2012-11-20 at 00.13.27

London-based Hills Building Services has been wound up by its owners, the £30m Lowe & Oliver Group, after just four years in control of the City of London M&E contractor.

Originally part of Hills Electrical, Hills Building Services was bought by Oxford-based Lowe & Oliver four years ago from Southern Electric Contracting.

But in the last few years it struggled in the downturn and was forced to axe staff numbers from around 30 to just 15 after turning in a pre-tax loss of £97,000 in 2011 on turnover of just £5m.

This month the Lowe & Oliver building services group, which boasts a Royal Warrant, gave up the battle, placing the firm in voluntary liquidation with debts of nearly £1.2m.

Over 70% of Hills’ work was for main contractors such as Bovis, Overbury and Mitie carrying out category A+B fit outs within the City of London.

The firm carried out shell and core works in London for clients such as M+S, Stanhope, Prudential, Standard Life and Land Securities with values ranging from £1-6m.

The collapse highlights the serious stresses being felt in the M&E sector, with several high profile players like MJ Coulston, Airedale M&E and parts of Rotary going under along with a welter of smaller regional firms.

This week Mitie warned it was exiting major one-off M&E work blaming poor returns.

While T Clarke last week warned high numbers of bidders and unrealistic pricing levels were blighting the hard-pressed sector.

According to trade body B&ES almost one in three building services contractors have seen workloads fall off so far this year with half reporting tender prices lower than six months ago.

Latest news

Balfour sells infrastructure fund management business

Sale raises $64m and "simplifies" group
5 hours ago

Graham wins £20m Lincoln’s Inn overhaul

Work starts next month restoring and extending the grade II listed buildings
8 hours ago

Manchester’s tallest skyscraper plan approved

Construction work on major private rented scheme set to start this Autumn
16 hours ago

Two weeks left to be named best in construction

Entry deadline extended to July 14 for Enquirer awards: Enter now
13 hours ago

Opinion: Contractors need assurances over EU workers

Construction needs to know it will have the workforce to keep Britain building
15 hours ago

Crane hire worker dies in roof plunge

Roofing firm and plant hirer fined £220,000 following skylight tragedy
11 hours ago

McLaren sets sights on sub £10m contracts

Contractor sets up new division to target industrial and retail jobs below £10m
15 hours ago

Four chase £96m Lincoln Eastern Bypass

Work is scheduled to start later this year on 24-month job
15 hours ago

Ministers reassure house builders over million homes target

Builders report strong sales continuing despite Brexit
1 day ago

Heathrow third runway decision on hold

Decision will not be taken until October at the very earliest
1 day ago

Tarmac to buy 10 Hope Construction concrete plants

Breedon Aggregates merger with Hope now set for August
15 hours ago

Green light for Ferrybridge £360m power plant

Three-year construction programme to start this autumn creating 500 jobs
2 days ago

Infrastructure cash key to avoiding Brexit hiatus

Civil engineers urge Government to hold nerve on infrastructure and avoid stop-start construction
2 days ago

MPs slam smart motorway plans to lose hard shoulders

Transport committee calls for rethink on £6bn "All lane running" plans
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall bags £39.5m Bournemouth Uni project

Contractor set for University’s Faculty of Health and Social Sciences building project
3 days ago

August start date for Tyneside triple decker roundabout

John Sisk and Lagan Construction JV will deliver innovative A19/A1058 junction upgrade
2 days ago

Mott to build case for Solihull transport hub

Plan for new transport hub to connect Birmingham International with HS2 station
2 days ago

WSP concedes defeat in bid battle for Sweett

Currie & Brown prepares to deliver cost cutting plan at Sweett
2 days ago

Costain boasts record order book at half-year

Tendering levels remain high across main infrastructure markets
2 days ago

Plans lodged for Redrow/Wates Bicester garden town

Developers aims to build 1,500 homes in next 15 years
2 days ago

Green light for Laing O’Rourke Liverpool cancer hospital

Work to start in next few months on new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
3 days ago

WSP hires Atkins director for Stockport bypass

Feasibility study for the A6-M60 relief road will be led by Nasar Malik
2 days ago

Construction alliance formed for light rail work

Places for Colas, Barhale, Thomas Vale and Auctus as Balfour Beatty misses out
3 days ago

Watkin Jones £100m east London student tower approved

Work to start on Stratford tower at the end of the year despite Brexit vote
3 days ago

Kier wants suppliers for £50m of work near Hereford

Meet the Buyer event this Thursday: Register now
3 days ago

G F Tomlinson scoops £15.9m Nottingham Uni job

Advanced manufacturing building will be constructed at the University's Jubilee Campus
3 days ago

Kier wins bid race for £25m Mackintosh restoration

Kier beats rivals with "extremely competitive" bid for fire-damaged building
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty chief’s wife buys £200,000 company shares

Quinn holding in construction group rises to 0.07%
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon abandons sale of support services arm

Contractor decides to keep division after bidders wanted to break-up maintenance operation
4 days ago

Firm fined £550,000 after two men fall to their deaths

Couple fell through Euston roadside hoarding into building site basement
4 days ago