CONSTRUCTION company The Owen Pugh Group has seen sales jump by a fifth to £31.5m in their annual accounts following the appointment of a new manager who has improved efficiencies across the businesses.
The Dudley-headquartered firm last year reported a loss approaching £90,000 but the company has now reported profits of more than £30,000 across the plant hire and haulage divisions, representing a major turnaround for the two areas of the business.
Turnover at the company, which employs over 350 people and has business centres in Blaydon, Stockton and Marsden Quarry, was £25.8m for the year ended March 2012 but directors expect to report a rise of 22% for the year ended, March 2013.
The rise follows the appointment of Paul Cockburn as general manager of Owen Pugh & Co Ltd, the parent company for the two divisions.
Responsible for 125 members of staff and a fleet of 45 trucks and 75 items of heavy plant, Cockburn’s priority has been to maximise the company’s traffic management software, using the data it provides to manage vehicles and drivers more efficiently. Each truck now has a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) communication device which alerts truck driver to their next job in the most efficient way, technology which has reduced the company’s carbon footprint and empty mileage each week.
A shift system has also been introduced to make sure vehicles are serviced and inspected outside of core hours.
The haulage team is also expanding to take on five new truck drivers, a move which follows the appointment of two workshop fitters in recent weeks.
The first of 12 new trucks has also been delivered, representing a total investment of £1.4m.
Cockburn said: “I’m extremely pleased with the efficiencies I’ve been able to introduce and the impact that this has had on profits to date. The team’s co-operation in adapting to these changes has really helped in making an impact quickly.”
Future priorities include further investment in training, with a focus on the plant division.
John Dickson, chairman of the Owen Pugh Group, said: “Paul is a real asset to The Owen Pugh Group and the impact he has made in just two months on efficiencies and profitability across the plant hire and haulage divisions speaks volumes.
“I look forward to working with him as we look forward to an optimistic year ahead, with a number of significant projects under way and in the pipeline.”