Survey says engineering services in confident mood this year

BESA, ECA, SELECT, SNIPEF, Paul Reeve, Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll, BESA

Around 80% of engineering services firms say turnover increased or was steady during the final quarter of 2017, according to new findings from the sector-wide Building Engineering Business Survey, sponsored by Scolmore.

The survey, run by leading engineering services trade bodies BESA, ECA, SELECT and SNIPEF, received 416 responses from companies across the multi-billion pound industry during January this year, regarding their business performance in Q4 last year.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2018, 85% businesses said they expect turnover to increase or remain the same. This expectation of further growth is despite pre-Brexit uncertainty and the collapse of Carillion, which occurred one week before the survey was sent to respondents.

However, many survey respondents reported that operational costs had risen, with almost two-thirds facing materials price rises and 50% facing labour cost increases.

Underlining the continual problem of poor payment practice, over half of firms said they continue to be paid late on both commercial and public sector work.

ECA Director of Business PaulReeve and BESA Director of Legal and Commercial Rob Driscoll said: “These figures show that the engineering services sector overall is in confident mood, even against a backdrop of commercial and political uncertainty and rising operational costs.

“However, the true effect of Carillion’s insolvency on the supply chain is yet to come through.”

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