Strong first quarter performance for electrical contractors

Wednesday 3 June 2015

The latest research to be published by the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) shows that the industry has had a strong start to the year. According to the organisation's Quarterly Business Trends Survey (QBTS), the first quarter of 2015 can be declared a success.

Some 78 per cent of respondents to the study said that their turnover had either stayed the same or increased during the first three months of the year. Contracting companies with a turnover in excess of £5 million had the most positive start to 2015 of all the demographics. A whopping 62 per cent of them saw their revenue grow.

A good start has led to confidence moving forward, with many contractors telling the ECA that they are expecting the next quarter will be positive and the whole year will follow in the same vein. 84 per cent of the body's members said they expect turnover to stay the same or increase in quarter two, with 86 per cent stating the same for the year.

Smaller contractors are not as optimistic about the future, however, with just 16 per cent of those turning over £200,000 or less believing their revenues will grow in the next quarter. This was reiterated by the 25 per cent of the same size contractor companies who thought there would be growth over the course of the year.

Steve Bratt, chief executive officer at the ECA Group, said: "Our industry has posted a strong overall performance over the first quarter of 2015, which shows recovery has extended to building services.

"I would hope this will continue over the next quarter and the next year as public sector and commercial projects reach the stage where electrical and other specialist contractors are brought in."

He also touched upon the issue of late payment, which has in the past been a problem for some contractors in the industry. Mr Bratt highlighted a number of initiatives that have been brought in to combat the problem in the last 18 months. These include the introduction of the Public Contracts Regulations and an improved Prompt Payment Code by the government.

The ECA was founded in 1901 and since then has grown to become the trade association representing contractors in the electrical and electronic equipment fields. This covers all those who design, install, inspect, test and maintain anything with an electronic component. It has more than 3,000 members.

By Victoria McDonnell

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