The collapse of the London office and commercial market is forcing steelwork contractors to cut prices to win work and maintain market share.
Research by cost consultant Gardiner & Theobold has revealed that steelwork firms are submitting tenders with no profit margin and minimum overheads to maintain turnover.

G&T predicts depressed market conditions will lead to business failures and job cuts in the sector.

In its "Spotlight" report for Building this week G&T says: "In the past six months there have been a number of small to medium-sized firms going into receivership, with further business failures likely in the next six to 12 months."

The report goes on to say that several steelwork firms have made redundancies and most have stopped night work.

The report predicts more troubles ahead. It states: "Most [contractors] are concerned about their order books beyond the end of 2003".

n Research by construction manager Mace on the lead times from enquiry to start of work on site for electrical installation work has shown that several electrical contractors expect to axe jobs over the next six months as workloads fall. The expected job cuts are in response to a fall in the number of projects on site and in enquiries for work.