Skanska UK’s construction business recorded operating income (profit) of £10.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and revenue of £334.6 million, equating to an operating margin of 3.1 per cent. The revenue growth is circa 15 per cent higher than the average quarterly rate in 2013.
Commenting on the increase, President and CEO Mike Putnam said: “We have seen a significant jump in revenue. This is due to the first full quarterly contribution from our enlarged road maintenance operation following the acquisition of Atkins Highways Services last year, combined with underlying growth across our business in line with our strategic plans.”
In the first three months of 2014, £361 million of orders were booked. This included a contract to build One New Street Square in the City of London.
Putnam said: “Our order bookings equate to a book to build ratio of 108 per cent. Any figure greater than 100 per cent is good news as it means we are taking in more bookings than revenue. The outlook for the year as a whole is positive as we have a strong pipeline of work.”
Skanska announced in April that it is creating 1,500 new jobs in the UK over the next two to three years to deliver the work it has already secured. “We are looking to recruit a significant number of people over the coming years and we see this as an opportunity to bring even greater diversity into our business,” said Putnam.
He highlighted a number of projects already completed in 2014: “We successfully handed over Bath Spa University, Moorgate Exchange and Bevis Marks in London. We completed Crossrail’s Western Ticket Hall Box at Bond Street Station, the Alexandra Wing at The Royal London Hospital and the upgrade of the M25 between junctions 23 and 25.”
The company also received a number of green accolades recently. Brent Civic Centre was confirmed as the UK’s greenest public building after it received BREEAM Outstanding accreditation and Skanska globally won the FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Award for corporate responsibility and environment.
Overall Putnam is optimistic: “We’ve had a good start to 2014 and I am confident about the future. We have three of our own commercial development projects now underway – The Monument Building in London, 66 Queen Square in Bristol and Bentley Works in South Yorkshire. I believe the outlook for the industry as a whole is now much more positive.”