Shepherd Engineering Services have grown sales by 8% to top £200m following a strong year, latest accounts show.
The firm, which has eight regional offices around the UK including Newcastle, has noted a successful year in the North East, with involvement in a series of some of the most high profile projects launched in 2014.
In turn, the business grew turnover in the year ended June 30 2014, from £193m to £208m, and also generated pre-tax profit of £5.6m, although this was a dip on the previous period’s £6.4m.
A report accompanying the accounts filed at Companies House said the profit before tax reflects “continued growth in turnover in the context of tighter margins in a very competitive environment, along with further investment for the future whilst retaining effective cost control management”.
The company’s balance sheet has almost halved compared to the previous year’s figure, from £36.3m to £19.6m, but the firm said last year’s bank balance had been boosted by a number of advance payments received on major contracts.
Meanwhile, employee numbers grew over the course of the year, from an average of 907 to 964.
Philip Clarke, the York-headquartered firm’s company secretary, said: “The balance sheet remains strong with cash of £19.6m and no borrowings.
“The company’s order book for the next financial year is building, with turnover secured in actual or expected orders.
“Success is dependent on good people. The company remains focussed on bringing in top performers to strengthen the overall team, whenever they become available.
“The company is actively targeting a broad range of sectors, including energy, waste and nuclear, to offset some of the potential shortfall in work in the coming years from the education and health sectors.
“For 2014/15 the outlook is that the markets in which the company is working will remain challenging due to the prevailing economic conditions. As a result, margins are tighter.
“Whilst it is more difficult to influence external factors the company continues to work towards improving those items within its control, namely client relationships, bank balance, site efficiencies and cost base.”
During the period the firm began work on the Stephenson Quarter in Newcastle,
Once finished, the 10-acre site next to Newcastle Central Station will boast a new 250-bed Crowne Plaza Hotel – due for completion next summer – a 3,000sqm office block, a host of restaurants, an art gallery and a car park.
As part of the £200m infrastructure master plan for the region, Shepherd Engineering Services is providing full mechanical and electrical (M&E) services to the Stephenson Quarter development.
The firm’s work in Newcastle is running parallel to several other high-profile engineering projects across the North East, including the Hitachi Rail Europe manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe and Consett Academy and Leisure Centre, both in County Durham.