Firm defies market gloom with 17% turnover rise and targets three or four big wins

Stephen Pycroft, head of construction management firm Mace, said the company needed to secure three or four major international projects in order to meet its target of growing turnover by 50% by 2015.

As Mace this week defied the deepening economic gloom to report a 17.2% increase in turnover for 2010, Pycroft warned that the wider construction market will be even tougher in 2013 than 2012.

It’ll be harder in 2013, against a background of rising commodity prices

Stephen Pycroft, chairman and chief executive, Mace

Discussing the company’s results, announced this week, Pycroft said his aim was to ride out rising commodity prices and pressure on wages by securing “three or four big projects in the UK and internationally”.

The company, which is building the Shard in London (pictured), issued results revealing turnover up to £851m, which it claims puts it on track to reach its target of £1bn turnover in 2012, and its five-year plan to grow turnover by over 50% by 2015.

Profit before tax increased by 9% over the year to £21m, and cash balance was £104.6m as of December 2010, with no debt.

The firm’s construction delivery arm was responsible for 76% of its turnover.

Mace’s increasing turnover, matched by that of fit-out contractor ISG, which also reported this week (below), is in stark contrast to worsening economic data and recent results from larger rivals including Laing O’Rourke and Lend Lease.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics for the second quarter of 2012 show the lowest level of new orders in almost 50 years, but Pycroft is confident of future growth.

“Mace continues to grow and demonstrate our resilience despite the continued challenging market conditions,” he said. “[However], in 2012 and 2013 the construction industry will struggle - it’ll be harder in 2013 than in 2012, especially against a background of rising commodity prices and pressure on wages.”

Mace in 2010

Turnover increased by 17.2%, up to £851m
On target to reach £1bn turnover in 2012
Five-year plan would see turnover increase 50% by 2015
Profit before tax increased by 9% over the year to £21m
Construction delivered 76% of the company’s turnover
Mace employed 2,902 staff at the close of 2010