Billington boss fears more steel rivals will fail

Grant Prior 10 years ago

Billington chief executive Steve Fareham fears more steel companies will fold as competition remains fierce in the sector and raw material prices continue to rise.

Fareham issued his warning as Billington recorded a pre-tax loss of £600,000 for the six months to June 30 compared to a £1.1m profit last time despite turnover ticking-up to £22.8m from £21.3m.

He said: “The number of business failures in the steelwork contracting sector remains relatively small, although with further increasing steel prices, recently announced, coupled with a harsh stance being taken by credit insurers, the directors believe there will inevitably be further casualties.”

Billington is braced for a slow construction recovery but is hopeful the market will pick-up next year.

Fareham said: “We are under no illusions, even though we expect margin pressures to ease in 2012; we realise that the construction market recovery will be a slow one.

“We remain cautious going forward, whilst positioning ourselves for growth.

“We have a strong balance sheet, the industry knowledge and relationships, to provide us with a degree of confidence in the current market conditions and look to 2012 with cautious optimism.”

The firm is still waiting to sign its first deal following the link-up with Bourne Steel to form the BS2 joint venture to go after larger commercial jobs in London.

Fareham said a number of developers are showing a “keen interest” and that the joint venture is looking to establish a turnover of between £10m and £20m

He told the Enquirer: “We have meet with most major developers to sound them out and they are very receptive to another major player in the market.

“We are being realistic and jobs like the Walkie Talkie and Cheesegrater towers are too big for us at the moment.”

Billington’s Easi-Edge safety barrier business is performing strongly despite the downturn and the firm has invested in new equipment as the Hoard-It site hoardings division also continues to grow.

Fareham said: “Easi-Edge has built up a reasonable percentage of the steel frame protection market and we are expanding in the timber frame sector.

“The hoardings business is also growing quite quickly and it shows that downturns do offer opportunities in niche areas.

“We have money in the bank but could look at more bolt-on businesses like this rather than structural steel acquisitions.”

Latest news

First mass built carbon negative homes get underway

St Modwen first volume developer to build affordable carbon-negative homes
3 mins ago

GMI Construction names new CEO

Lee Powell takes helm as CEO at GMI Construction in growth push
7 mins ago

Henry Construction wins £30m Clarion housing scheme

Ravensbury estate regeneration in Mitcham is Henry's first project for Clarion
12 mins ago

Ballymore pulls 51-storey tower plan amid fire safety concern

London Fire Brigade raises concern about single staircase and fire strategy
3 days ago

New work surges as materials shortages ease

Mild weather and easing of supply chain bottlenecks lifts new work 5.7%
3 days ago

PDR Construction goes into administration

All staff made redundant as suppliers owed millions
4 days ago

Brick-laying robot gets approval from NHBC

Robot can now be used in construction of new homes covered by NHBC warranty
3 days ago

Temporary visa scheme needed for London sites

Mayor of London demands action over site skills shortages
4 days ago

Construction worker dies after fall from mobile tower

Court hears how tower wasn't configured correctly
4 days ago

Glencar wins £50m Peterborough logistics hub

Works start on trio of sheds at Kingston Park
4 days ago

Green light for £330m Woking high-rise cluster

Work to start on five blocks towards the end of 2022.
4 days ago

Countryside chief executive makes sudden exit

Major shareholder takes seat on board as first quarter trading falls below board expectations
4 days ago

Big names line-up for £2.7bn Birmingham roads deal

Arup, Arcadis, Balfour Beatty, Carnell, Colas, Kier and Tarmac among firms eyeing contract
4 days ago

Galliford Try scoops £56m Milton Keynes PRS job

Building arm will deliver 329 rental flats across four buildings rising up to 11 storeys
5 days ago

Designers shortlisted for £1bn Oxford Innovation district

Oxford Uni and L&G advance £1bn Begbroke science district plan
5 days ago

Subbies chase cash as work stops on PDR Construction sites

Subcontractors left in dark by £83m turnover contractor
6 days ago

Britain’s concrete producers join forces

Industry agrees single voice through lobbying group UK Concrete
4 days ago

Shapps pauses Smart motorway rollout amid safety concerns

Contractors will be allowed to complete schemes currently under construction
5 days ago

Wildgoose went down owing £9m to trade firms

More than 700 firms have been left out of pocket by the £50m turnover business
5 days ago

Keltbray bags Silvertown tunnelling waste removal

Riverlinx tunnelling team sign Keltbay to barge out excavated material
5 days ago

Ray O’Rourke’s successor starts work

Seamus French starts countdown to firm's founder stepping down
6 days ago

Filler injections rejuvenate ageing concrete roads

Metrail Construction solves squelchy concrete road problem with resin injections
5 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wins £42m Norwich student conversion

Crispin House office to be converted into 680 student rooms
6 days ago

Vinci completes first pour of its ultra low carbon concrete

Taylor Woodrow reduces the carbon footprint of the construction project by up to 70%
6 days ago

KPMG admits financial regulator misled in Carillion audits

Tribunal over KPMG and former staff's forgery allegations gets underway
6 days ago

Scottish contractor goes under with loss of 33 jobs

Iain Potter Construction hit by rising costs and problem contracts
6 days ago

Construction blasted over slow building safety culture change

Dame Judith Hackitt accuses firms of hiding behind trade bodies and holding on for legislation to force change
6 days ago

Firms making £10m-plus profits told to fund cladding retrofits

Developers handed March deadline to set out plans to fix unsafe 11m-18m tall buildings
7 days ago

Modular specialist OEP UK lines-up new contracts after prepack deal

Administrator's report reveals details of sale and debts to suppliers
6 days ago

Contractors readied for £150m Welsh stations upgrade

Transport for Wales Rail to invite bids for stations work at start of February
7 days ago

Contractor services