Greater Manchester-based family-owned business widens portfolio of work to spread risk

Greater Manchester-based Bardsley Construction is looking forward to a bumper 2017 having achieved an increase in turnover despite ‘unstable conditions’ following the UK voting for Brexit at the EU Referendum.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2016, the family-owned provider of building services to the public and private sectors with headquarters in Dukinfield and regional offices for Yorkshire and the Midlands increased annual turnover to £51.36m from £50.74m in 2015. 

Bardsley generated a pre-tax profit of £0.82m (2015: £1.69m) and an operating profit of £0.86m (2015: £1.73m) in the period.

In his strategic report on the financial year, managing director Paul Strutt said Bardsley was on track for a strong performance in the year to December 2017 with a good pipeline” of work including a secured order book valued at more than £55m.

The firm was benefiting from a proactive strategy to widen its portfolio of work to avoid being overly reliant on specific and traditional sectors. While continuing to specialise in education, elderly care and housing, the firm diversified to include projects in commercial, leisure, hotels and student accommodation.

Mr Strutt said: “Pipeline opportunities are good and the secured order book for 2017 is in excess of £55m, which already represents the majority of the budgeted turnover for the year with a further £9m expected to convert to ‘secured’ by June 2017.”

Reflecting on 2016, he said: “The Government Budget announcements in July 2015 continued to impact the public sector housing market well into 2016 and the Referendum brought with it further unstable conditions in the summer that impacted the appetite for investment.

“These conditions created delays in contracts starting on site and have been the single most important challenge for us as a business as we sought to replace delays with the right work for our business.”

Mr Strutt said the affordable housing market in particular was slow to address the impact of uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote with a consequent delay in public sector work impacting the overall profitability of Bardsley in 2016.

But he added that Bardsley had seen a marked rise in in enquiry levels since the autumn of 2016 thanks to a “much more buoyant market place”.

“Whilst offering a substantial proportion of our workload, the wide spectrum of work has been monitored closely to ensure we are not too reliant on any one client or sector,” explained Mr Strutt.

The firm with 177 staff is on 10 major delivery frameworks with a total value of £1.9bn covering sectors such as housing, extra care, education and other public sector buildings.

Chairman Roly Bardsley commented: "2017 looks like being our busiest year yet, so I'm delighted that we are steadily increasing our turnover, however, profit margins remain tight.”

Recently awarded contracts for Bardsley Construction include:

  • a multi-million pound contract to deliver a nine-storey AC by Marriott hotel with 172 rooms, bar and café on Cable Street, Manchester;
  • a £27.6m scheme of 135 private rented sector (PRS) apartments for developer Mulbury on the corner of Port Street and Great Ancoats Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester;
  • a £6.2m student accommodation development of 103 ensuite studio apartments, offices, management suite and residents’ communal hub at Hannah Court, Matilda Street, Sheffield, for Venture Property Group;
  • and a £6.7m contract to refurbish and extend The Joseph Priestley Building at the University of Huddersfield.