John Sisk & Son plans to almost double turnover to more than £300m this year after bagging £200m of work in the last six months of 2009

As part of the plan, it has drafted in 50 staff from Sisk, its Irish parent company, to help it win work. Many have been part of teams that have won big contracts such as the £120m redevelopment of Croke Park, the Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Dublin.

The predicted turnover of £300m is a huge increase from 2009 (£161m) and 2008 (£226m). The firm declined to predict pre-tax profit for 2010; this was £1.5m in 2009 (2008: £2.5m).

Paul Wilson, John Sisk’s managing director, explained the predicted turnover jump. “The market we were operating in before the credit crunch – commercial, industrial, distribution – pretty much stopped overnight in 2008. The only bit that held up was hotels. So in 2009 we invested in major projects and civils and picked up some big contracts (see below).

“Although we started work on a lot of that in 2009, the bulk of the turnover is starting to come in this year. It could actually be well over £300m. Though don’t forget we’ve had £230-250m for a few years and then the significant drop in 2008. The target for 2013 is more than £500m.”

Wilson said bringing in staff from the Irish parent company on a permanent basis had taken UK levels to 400 and he insisted it was their expertise, rather than cheap bids, which brought the firm work.

He said: “It’s about establishing a structure and bringing in additional resources, but also about creating a centre of excellence. We know that we were not the lowest bidders on one of the projects we won recently, and that was against a big 10 firm. We won it on the back of a reference from another business we were working with.”

John Sisk’s big deals in 2010

  • Pembroke power station - £44m
  • Finzels Reach (mixed-use scheme, pictured above), Bristol - £75m
  • Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare - £25m
  • A477, Pembrokeshire - £48m
  • Olympic athletes’ village, London -  £78m