Sunday, May 31, 2020

Midlands contractor looks to a strong forecast ahead despite challenging period for the construction industry

Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson is looking ahead to a prosperous future, with works in the pipeline of circa £52m in the public and private sectors over the next 12 months, following a financially challenging period of trading (January 2018 – June 2019).

Since the beginning of 2020, the Derby-based construction group has secured its position on three major construction frameworks and has a projected profit of £2.5m for its financial period between June 2019 and June 2020.

The family business continues to adapt and adjust in line with economic changes, to further strengthen its position in the industry. This strategy has been beneficial as the business looks towards the rest of 2020 and to 2021, with a greater emphasis on buoyant markets of public sector frameworks, residential and the logistics sector.

Construction frameworks continue to play a significant part in G F Tomlinson’s business, providing a consistent client base and focus, with sustainable opportunities for G F Tomlinson’s local supply chain partners, helping to generate social, economic and environmental benefits within surrounding communities.

Group chairman and Managing Director, Andy Sewards said: “We are hugely proud to have secured a place on three major frameworks in the first quarter of 2020; we are now part of the £500m University of Birmingham Build Higher Framework, the national Crown Commercial Services Construction Works and Associated Services Agreement and the national Pagabo Major Works.

“This is a considerable success for G F Tomlinson and as a business we are forecasted to recoup on the losses in the financial period between January 2018 and June 2019, by June 2021. This is an incredible achievement for the team and testament to G F Tomlinson’s breadth of experience, forward-thinking approach and values, as well as the quality of our processes and calibre of staff – which have been thoroughly tested, as part of the robust processes involved in winning placements on frameworks of this calibre.

“While we have a very positive forecast moving forward, I’d like to take this opportunity to address the challenging financial period between January 2018 and June 2019. We feel as a business that sharing our challenges and how we are adapting our strategy to overcome them, will not just give context to our accounts for this period, but will help to build understanding on the testing times a contractor will face many times in its lifecycle.

“2018 was a difficult year for the construction industry as a whole. It witnessed the Brexit stand-off – which had already been compounded by the result of the snap general election in 2017 – which created much uncertainty and slowed orders in 2018. This consequently stagnated the commercial markets and the public sector contracts for a large part of the year.

“During this financial period, we also had to manage our contracts with the added pressure of key supply chain members ceasing to trade. In January 2018, Carilion fell into administration and during the subsequent months, a few regional Midlands contractors suffered the same fate.

“With the change in the contracting economic climate, the directors restructured the staff and management teams to create a more streamlined model, which has reduced the company’s overhead this current financial year. The directors also took the decision to change our accounting period to June to dovetail and align more closely with our framework clients, which is why G F Tomlinson is reporting to an initial 18-month period to June 2019. The Group is now more aligned, resulting in a better economic performance.

“Moving forward to 2019, the beginning of the year witnessed the retirement of my father, Mr Barry Sewards, after over 50 years at the helm of G F Tomlinson. He has worked closely with me for over 25 years and the Group has now passed onto the next generation. With this change, the Group companies have implemented new systems and technologies to complement our tried and tested existing systems that have served the company well for over a century. The re-structure carried out, enabled the Group to position itself in the best possible position to move profitability forward during our current financial year, and we predict it will continue to do so during 2020.

“The Group has a strategic plan over the next few years to partner with more public sector clients on a variety of frameworks, which not only start and finish on different dates, but also run for longer terms. To complement the public sector workload, the Group has also aligned itself with a core range of successful commercial developer clients. Running alongside this, the Group has also started to develop its Tomlinson Homes banner, with a number of strategic residential developments.

“Other substantial project wins will enable the Group to move forward throughout 2020 and well into 2021. 2020 will also see the completion of one of our high-profile, major Midlands projects; the £30 million redevelopment of Nottingham Castle. The Group has also invested strategically in a series of commercial developments which will supplement the commercial contracts division during 2020.

“With over 125 years of experience in the industry, G F Tomlinson is well versed in remaining agile and embracing new ideas to capitalise on the more buoyant sectors in the marketplace, and this approach ensures the company is well placed, providing greater opportunities for continued success for years to come.

“As we look to a bright future of trading, I’d like to acknowledge and thank the whole G F Tomlinson team for their passion, dedication and strong work ethic.”

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