INTERNATIONAL expansion helped boost earnings at consulting engineers Cundall, despite continued challenging conditions in the global construction industry.
The Gosforth-based business opened new offices in Qatar, Poland and Singapore in the last year to add to its five UK sites and four Australian offices, plus international bases in Dubai, Tripoli, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Madrid, Paphos and Bucharest.
Cundall, which specialises in designing environmentally-friendly, sustainable buildings, increased its turnover by £16,850 to £25.7m in the 12 months to the end of last June, according to its just-published results.
The company recovered from a dip in turnover in its previous financial year and its pre-tax profits also rose from £2.6m to £3.2m.
Cundall partner Gordon Reid said: “The whole construction industry has suffered and Cundall have found the last few years challenging but there has been a number of positives in the past 12 months that we can celebrate.”
He said the tough construction market had made a small amount of recovery and marginal improvement.
He said: “2012 has been a positive year for Cundall, we have secured a number of new projects, seen a number of projects successfully open and celebrated a number of awards.
“My highlight, though, was watching the white water rafting course being used for London 2012 Games.
“Not many people realise that this project was designed here in the North East, it was great to see one of our projects in action during such a successful Olympic games.”
The course, at Lee Valley, was the venue for canoe slalom event at the Games and has brought the company to international attention in the water sport world.
“We are very proud of what we did at the Olympics and we are trying to generate some more opportunities internationally from that. A delegation from Brazil was very interested in what we had done,” said Reid.
In the region, the practice has been working on high-profile projects including AkzoNobel’s new £100m paint-making plant in Ashington, the recently-opened Palatine Centre at Durham University, Cobalt Business Park’s new sustainable data centres and the new Rolls Royce Facility in Washington. Overseas, Cundall won a major industry award in Hong Kong, which is currently its strongest overseas market.
Cundall, which receives around 25% of its work from overseas, is currently shortlisted for the Outstanding International Business Award category at the British Expertise International Awards, which will be announced in March.
Reid said: “We have expanded our international offering to existing international clients as well as creating work with new contacts. Our international offering is going from strength to strength.”
During the year, Cundall become the world’s first consultancy to be formally endorsed as a One Planet Company by sustainability charity BioRegional. It was also named consultant of the year in the national Constructing Excellence awards
Staff numbers increased to 383 from 371, while an extra partner was created bringing the number of partners to 38.