The managing director of demolition firm John F Hunt does not anticipate a recovery in London’s commercial property sector within two years, he said as he revealed a £10m drop in turnover
The Essex-based outfit released its annual results this week. They showed a 28% fall in turnover from £36m in 2008 to £26m in 2009. Pre-tax profit was £1.6m compared with a loss of £381,000 in 2008, helped by 32 staff (including two directors) leaving during the period. The cuts reduced the wage bill by more than £1.5m and trimmed the average salary by £3,000 to £33,384.
Managing director John Hall said: “It’s all about survival and it’s not going to get any easier in the next 12 months. As for the London commercial market, we speak to developers every day and my gut feeling is that an uplift is two years away.”
Hall is cautiously optimistic, however, with £15m of large commercial jobs in London lined up, though on hold, two big housing regeneration jobs coming up in the capital, regular work from a Ministry of Defence framework and potential Crossrail work.
“We’re one of six Crossrail framework demolition contractors, which in total will be more than £50m of work, so we’re hoping that some of that will help lift us out of the recession. But if a future government cancels it, that would be suicide.”