Pandemic takes its toll but steelwork contractor boasts strong order book

The country’s second biggest steelwork contractor William Hare saw pre-tax profit dive 55% last year because of increased costs associated with the pandemic.

Pre-tax profit fell to £3.6m in 2020, down from £5.3m the previous year.

william hare

Turnover was £191m, a fall of 6% from £203m in 2019. 

But the company views the latest figures as a blip, saying in its accounts it is confident about future workloads.

It said: “The order book position is extremely strong at the balance sheet date, and the directors note that there have been further awards of contracts in 2021 to date.

“The directors continue to monitor the covid-19 pandemic, however, it is encouraging to note that quality projects continue to come to market and the pipeline of opportunities remains healthy which reflects the group’s standing in the UK and world markets.”

The firm, which is working on architect OMA’s Factory arts complex (pictured) in Manchester being built by Laing O’Rourke, employed over 1,750 people last year, nearly 750 in the UK and over 1,000 elsewhere.

Last year, the then chief executive of the Bury-based steelwork firm died after contracting coronavirus.

The death of David Hodgkiss (pictured), 71, was announced in March by Lancashire country cricket club where he had been the chairman for the past three years.

He has since been replaced by his sister Susan Hodgkiss who is now both chief executive and chair.