Top-10 M&E group Southern Electrical Contracting aims for top spot through organic growth and acquisitions
Top-10 M&E contractor Southern Electric Contracting plans to double in size over five years through acquisition and organic growth.

Chief executive Bob Hall said he wanted SEC to become the premier M&E contractor in local markets.

He said: "We will be growing organically but also through small acquisitions in the local market. We will be looking to buy smaller companies in regions where they can be built successfully into ours."

Hall added that SEC was primarily an electrical contractor but he wanted to offer customers a more comprehensive service by beefing up mechanical services.

Hall said he would boost SEC by transferring staff from Global Transfer, the specialist division of parent company Scottish and Southern Energy, to work as mechanical engineers in SEC.

"The current market demands that electrical contractors provide a comprehensive service, which includes mechanical engineering, so we are looking to respond to that."

SEC had a turnover of £170m and made a profit after tax and interest payments of £9.4m in the year ending 31 March 2003. Operating profit had risen 44% during that period. Hall said the firm had doubled in size for the second consecutive five-year period.

The market demands that firms provide a complete service

Bob Hall, chief executive, SEC

He said: "SEC has a strong order book and is happy to stay in the local market where we have been successful."

Hall ruled out a move into facilities management but said that the company would continue to work in the PFI market, where it carries out maintenance contracts for street lighting.

Hall said SEC was on a shortlist of three for the Ministry of Defence's south-east prime contract and was partnering with Interserve. The two companies have also teamed up to compete for the energy, sewage and water maintenance contracts on the Falkland Islands.

SEC is one of the firms in the construction industry that has set the pace in providing training and development. It has 80 apprentices on its books and operates a profit sharing scheme for professional, technical and administrative staff. It also publishes a company newspaper, which is posted to the homes of all employees.

  • SEC has teamed up with former partners on the Ministry of Defence's Andover North Site project to form a separate company called Novus Solutions.