KPMG survey finds UK firms expecting growth and are targeting the energy and powers sectors for expansion

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UK construction firms are increasingly confident about their prospects and are expecting growth in revenue and profit margins this year, with firms targeting the energy and powers sectors for expansion, a new survey of the industry has found.

KPMG’s Global Construction Survey 2013 revealed that almost three quarters of UK construction firms surveyed (73%) are “positive” or “very positive” about their prospects over the next two to five years, with almost two-thirds (57%) saying they expect there turnover to grow between one and 25% this year.

The survey also found:

  • that 50% of UK firms said their order books at the end of 2012 had increased by at least 5%
  • more than two-thirds (67%) of UK firms foresee an increase in pipeline by the end of this year
  • almost a fifth of companies (20%) said compared with the previous year their profit margins had increased by the end of 2012
  • 100% of firms said they were considering expanding into the power and energy sectors, with 83% targeting rail, 33% industrial and 17% water.
  • many UK firms are also targeting international expansion, with nearly two thirds (60%) of UK firms saying that the US and Canada is a top priority in terms of entering new geographies

Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK head of infrastructure building and construction said: “There has been a growing sense in the last couple of months that the worst is over and the results of our survey provide further evidence that construction activity is finally picking up.

“Construction companies now need to invest in growth. What is holding back the industry now is not lack of demand, but the ability of businesses to resource for it and recruit sufficient experienced staff.

“The next round in this highly competitive market will be won by those who have the resources to compete. Companies need to act now, because the industry’s resurgence is already underway.”