Turnover rises at Warwickshire construction company despite challenging year for industry

Stepnall Park, Rugby

A Warwickshire construction company has reported its 2018/19 results, which show a 12 per cent increase in turnover from £146 million in 2017/18 to £164 million. The firm has also seen a four per cent rise in gross profit.

Stepnell, a 151-year-old family-owned firm, operates across central and southern England has attributed its robust performance to a range of successful projects during the year and a clear strategy of competing in diverse markets including healthcare, retirement and education and extending to commercial business, retail and leisure premises, and also civil engineering works.

Tom Wakeford, joint managing director of Stepnell Ltd said: “We welcome these results after a challenging year for the construction industry. The market remains mixed with a number of our competitors struggling, and as such a few projects had their challenges, particularly through terms and conditions that proved to be more onerous that expected and subcontractors going out of business.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that our revised business model, with a focus on lower risk terms and conditions, will hold us in good stead. Stepnell has a more diversified range of projects than ever before and this will position us to withstand market risks.

“Strategically, Stepnell is using 2019/20 as a year of consolidation and looking at our customer base very carefully. We will continue to refine project selectivity this year, being cautious and signing up to the right commercial terms.”

Stepnell continues to manage successful framework projects for National Grid (Civil Engineering), Oxford Brookes University, Reading University, Crown Construction and Procure Partnerships and Dorset County Council.

Stepnell Limited’s parent company Stepnell Holdings has also reported a steady set of results for the financial year ending 2018/19 with turnover up 7.41% from £156 to £168 million.

Tom Wakeford said: “Because of the stability of Stepnell and the parent company, we know we have a robust future, despite the difficult climate. Our underlying performance is improving. We have a strong order book going forward and an increased the level of due diligence that we apply to each project that we consider, to enable us to make more robust decisions when choosing whether to bid for or decline individual opportunities.

“This has led to our current projects having had a greater level of scrutiny during the bid stage and before they are signed into contract and therefore more successful now that they are on site.

“We have appointed a new commercial director, John Green from Bouygues, who has been bought in to spearhead the continued development of our commercial strategy of being selective about the projects that we undertake and ensuring that we continue to deliver great projects for our clients.”

Stepnell has worked on many high-profile schemes within its key sectors during 2018/19 including:

Stepnell Park – a £10 million, 85,000 sq ft business park  in Rugby  features ten new industrial, warehouse or trade-counter buildings. Self-funded by Stepnell, the company views it as a future revenue stream for the business, and St John’s College library & study centre, Oxford.

This challenging project delivered by Stepnell included a new study centre and central archive in part of the President’s Garden at St John’s College in Oxford. The new four-storey building sits at the centre of the College’s extensive site and links to the northern end of the Canterbury Quadrangle on both the ground and first floors.