IBEX Interiors

IBEX Interiors further enhanced its credentials this year by achieving ISO 14001 and BREAM assessor status. And that level of professionalism certainly paid off in its £2.3m Caxton House project, where it helped Land Securities refurbish the Department of Work and Pensions’ new offices. The building was occupied throughout, and big client changes posed extra supply-chain challenges. But a commitment to true partnering saw it through in style, helped no doubt by another innovation last year, the appointment of a dedicated close-out manager who ensures quality levels are maintained right to the end. IBEX’s willingness to resolve problems in a non-contractual manner helped it secure a 16% increase in turnover – and all of it, repeat business. Client feedback was invariably most positive. Happily, its safety record told an excellent story too.

Runners up

MITIE Interiors

In just five years, MITIE has built a £50m business capable of project-managing some of the most complex fit-outs in the country. It prides itself on creating long-term relationships throughout the supply chain, from architect to end-user, and on training its people well. Sustainability is also pretty big on the agenda. Its internal management project “Building Harmony” is a continuous 360 degree business review that ensures all the firm’s core values are being observed.


Mivan’s strong management systems, which include accreditation to ISO 9001:2000, have won it regular work with names like Bovis Lend Lease and Sir Robert McAlpine. These and other big clients gave it nearly 80% of its £32m of new work last year. Innovation is important here – it’s made a big financial investment in researching how commercial toilet fit-outs can be improved and is now looking to manufacture an off-site solution.

MJM Group

Sustainability matters to MJM, and it wants to go much further than current industry practice in reducing waste on site. New factory machinery has delivered considerable time and money savings, and helped with prestige jobs like the testing Real Food Court project at Dublin International Airport.

Swift Horsman

Famous for its modular walling system, Podwall, Swift Horsman grew by nearly 40% last year and doubled profits. Continually examining ways to take offsite manufacture to the next level, Swift Horsman directly employs 90% of its operatives and has opened its own training school. Staff are always encouraged to push the boundaries of installation speed, though of course never at the expense of safety.

Wates Retail

High customer satisfaction translates through to a 99% repeat-business rate at this seven-year-old specialist, which achieved a turnover up nearly 50% to £130m. It knows the value of looking after its key suppliers too, and is committed to giving regular sub-contractors 90% of the action. “Reduce, re-use and recycle” is a company mantra.