The recent announcements from Bam Construct, Bam Nuttall and Balfour Beatty have delivered a reality check for the industry, compared with the various “good news” updates from a number of sources in recent months.
While business in most areas is looking better than this time last year, in some cases enjoying considerable improvement and providing cause for celebration, last week’s announcements show there is another side of the coin.
While Bam Construct has stated its performance was “reasonable”, given market conditions in 2013, Balfour Beatty’s issues seem set to have a major impact on the organisation.
It is now recruiting for a new group CEO and BBES managing director and is considering the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff, which it purchased in 2009. No doubt the Bam results for 2014 will be more positive than last year’s and Balfour Beatty has sufficient in-house expertise to resolve its issues.
The concern for building services companies is that they may feel the knock-on effects resulting from efforts to improve operational performance to deliver more positive results this year. Balfour Beatty’s statement in March highlighting the difficulties it had faced in the mechanical and electrical sector will no doubt be echoed by others in our sector.
If nothing else, the recent announcements show that while increasingly more companies are seeing market growth, others are still waiting for clearer indications of the economic recovery.