Tech savvy workforce key to Costain’s future

Grant Prior 4 years ago

The rise in technology across the construction sector has seen a dramatic shift in the skill set of Costain’s workforce.

In its latest half-year results today Costain revealed that 1,300 staff – one third of its headcount – are now working in technology or consultancy roles.

That number is set to increase as hundreds more tech-savvy graduates and apprentices are being trained.

Chief executive Andrew Wyllie said: “We are operating in a dynamic and rapidly changing market environment.

“For example, the National Infrastructure Assessment published last month contemplates close to 100% adoption of electric new vehicle sales in the UK by 2030.

“These trends are causing urgent infrastructure needs and the solutions to address them are increasingly complex and technology enabled.

This rapidly-changing environment is having a very material bearing on all market participants.”  

Wyllie added: “It is creating a wide range of new opportunities for us as we look to deliver ever more innovative solutions to meet the challenges ahead.

“As an example, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and their enabling infrastructure represent a growing market opportunity expected to be worth circa £11bn per annum in the UK by 2030.

The single biggest factor in our continuing success will be our ability to further embrace the revolution taking place in the use and deployment of technology.

“That is why we have been transforming Costain into the UK’s leading smart infrastructure solutions company, embedding technology across everything we do.”

Wyllie said Costain was focussed on aligning business development activity with clients changing spend patterns.

He said: “As an example, Network Rail announced a 25% increase in spending to £47 billion in Control Period 6, commencing next year, but has also indicated that spending will be targeted towards asset enhancement and the ‘Digital Railway’ rather than large capital projects.

“This common client trend is having a direct impact on the nature and scope of contracts within our quality order book.”

Revenue for the six months to June was down 11.6% to £772.9m but underlying pre-tax profit increased to £21.4m from £18.3m.

The increase in the group profit came from a good return from the Infrastructure division and a significant improvement in the Natural Resources division, which returned to profit in the first-half.

Infrastructure division profits dipped from £24m in the same period last year to £20m as revenue fell 15% to £587m, largely as a result of lower capital project activity.

A stronger performance from water and power activities helped to lift Natural Resources pre-tax profit to £4m after falling £1m into the red in the first six months of 2017.

Average month-end net cash remained strong at £91m.

Costain secured over £600m of contract wins and extensions during the first six months to keep its orderbook stable at £3.7bn.

Wyllie said: “While  the absolute size of the order book remains unchanged, we consider it to be higher quality as the shape and nature of the individual contracts continues to evolve reflecting our changing strategic market positioning.”

Latest news

Construction arm propels Mace to record profit

Revenue expected to top £2bn this year despite project delays
1 hour ago

Sisk fixes price on £227m Quintain flats job

Quintain signs single-largest contract so far at Wembley Park
3 hours ago

Rising costs tip William Hare to £3.6m loss

Specialist contractor falls into the red despite near 60% revenue rise to £220m
24 hours ago

Safety blitz on “aches, pains and strains” on site

1,000 site visits planned in coming months to check how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials
1 day ago

Drones sent flying underground to check sewers

Traditional inspection teams replaced with latest technology
6 hours ago

Plan submitted for 470 Preston flats scheme

Stoneygate Central scheme on Dryden Mill site will rise to 16 storeys
6 hours ago

Graham starts £124m M25 Junction 28

Work on the 36-month Junction 28 upgrade includes constructing a major two-lane loop road
5 hours ago

Keltbray bags brace of energy infrastructure wins

Civils work on huge converter stations worth £30m to specialist
23 hours ago

Balfour Beatty sole winner for £4bn Scape civils deals

Contractor reappointed to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and separate Scottish deals
1 day ago

PR expert Baroness Rock to chair Costain

Kate Rock will take up senior board role at the end of the year
1 day ago

Billington profit upgrade after strong first-half

Steelwork contractor says weaker pound will allow it to reignite its old export markets in Europe
1 day ago

Green light for £120m Liverpool “super restaurant”

Historic Pumphouse at Stanley Dock to be transformed
2 days ago

Tolent bags £15m Sunderland skills academy

Work to start later this year on Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy
1 day ago

Government launches net zero review

Pro-growth and pro-business review of net zero 2050 target launches
2 days ago

L&G Modular wins 400-home Wolverhampton job

Modular specialist wins 17-acre Canalside South regeneration scheme
2 days ago

£1.2bn A12 upgrade accepted for planning

15-mile Essex road upgrade between Chelmsford and Colchester aims for 2023/24 start
2 days ago

US consultant trumps WSP bid for RPS Group

Tetra Tech swoops but WSP could come back with new offer if bidding war breaks out
2 days ago

Sisk hands staff £900 cost of living cash boost

Firm also promises staff £400 Christmas voucher in November
2 days ago

Loathed IR35 reforms scrapped by Chancellor

Contractors will no longer have to determine tax status of freelance workers
5 days ago

Higgins signs deal for 740 West London homes

Work to start this autumn on two Hayes housing estate rebuilds
2 days ago

Kier wins Sefton net zero £36m school job

Deyes High School in Maghull will consist of 60 classrooms
2 days ago

Giant TBM cutterhead takes road trip to second drive

Balfour Beatty Vinci to drag remaining TBM back through tunnel for second bore
5 days ago

Fast-track 138-project growth plan – full list

Chancellor banks on road projects to lead growth plan recover
5 days ago

Kwarteng backs construction to lead “new era for Britain”

Planning rules to be ripped-up to speed infrastructure work as 38 new Investment Zones created
6 days ago

Green light for next two Manchester NOMA jobs

Work to start early next year on first of two major office buildings
5 days ago

Bouygues struggles to raise profitability

Loss-making contracts dent pre-tax profit at £835,000 from revenue up at £484m
5 days ago

Architect helps staff with £1,000 cost of living cash

P+HS Architects to make one-off payments this autumn
5 days ago

Sisk wins £69m rerouting of landslip-prone A59

Site clearance to start next month at Kex Gill in Yorkshire
6 days ago

Renewal race starts for £800m NEPO framework

Nearly 20 firms face fight to renew places on north east construction panel
5 days ago

Avonside supply chain left holding £17m in unpaid bills

Former bosses revealed as buyers of branches from administrators
6 days ago

Contractor services