Fit-out specialist Ibex Interiors is increasingly competing for work against larger players at the sub-£2m end of the market as the credit crunch continues.
Mark Taylor, its managing director, said companies like £767m-turnover competitor ISG were doing more small jobs because these provided a greater churn of work. He said: “It’s a more crowded marketplace now and jobs are tougher to win.”
Taylor was speaking after Ibex announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2007. Operating profit at the company, which is a subsidiary of the John Doyle Group, doubled from £1.1m in 2006 to £2.2m last year.
Turnover grew 31% from £81.5m to £106.6m and Taylor said the company was on course to hit £120m in 2008. He said the margin improvement from 1.3% to 2.1% in 2007 was the result of a restructure in 2006.
Taylor maintained the group was relatively protected from the credit crunch because 70% of its business was from sub-£2m jobs. “It’s not all doom and gloom. At that level people are still taking new leases and needing fit-out work.”
But he admitted work in the financial sector and speculative development jobs had fallen.
Taylor expects the group to raise its 40% share of turnover from the public sector to 50% this year, for added protection.