Regional construction group Beard, which has a major office in Swindon, has continued to outperform the recession-hit building sector with double-digit increases in annual profits and revenues.
The family-owned firm chalked up a 21% rise in pre-tax profits to £1.4m in the year to December 31 on revenues up 13% to £77.3m.
Against a backdrop of challenging trading conditions for the construction industry, Beard also increased the value of its order book by 8% to £40m. Cashflow during the period remained exceptionally strong, with cash balances often exceeding £7m.
During the year the firm, which was established in 1892, won a number of high-profile contracts in the education, healthcare, ecclesiastical and commercial sectors, strengthening its position in specialist, higher-margin areas of the market.
It also won work in Bath, including a £3.5m sports centre development for Prior Park College, as it continued to look further west than its traditional heartland of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley, while its Guildford office, opened four years ago, secured some important contracts.
Among the key projects secured last year were a £4.2m science centre for St Helen & St Katharine School in Abingdon; a £1.7m extension of St Andrew’s Church in north Oxford, a £3.5m office refurbishment and expansion of the former Beaufort House building in Guildford and a £2.2m intensive care extension at Royal Surrey County Hospital.
Beard work on the Bishop Edward King Chapel at Ripon College in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire, won Building Project of the Year at the British Construction Industry Awards. It was also runner-up for the UK’s best building of the year in the highly-prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize.
Managing director Mark Beard, pictured, said: “We’ve had another great year, beating the construction industry blues by winning high quality work.
“Our success has been driven by a strong focus on prompt and faultless delivery of all our buildings projects, good cost control and being selective about the clients we work with and the projects we take on. Our strong commercial results have also enabled us to invest in training and developing our people and improving our customer service.
“Looking ahead, we’ve got a strong order book and we’re well positioned to take advantage of improving market conditions. 2014 is going to be a great year for Beard – the future is bright.”