Contract wins help construction firms bolster balance sheets

An artist's impression of the new Cefas headquarters being developed by Morgan Sindall. Picture: Mor

An artist's impression of the new Cefas headquarters being developed by Morgan Sindall. Picture: Morgan Sindall - Credit: Morgan Sindall

Despite a tough climate for the construction industry the East Anglian arms of a national builder have hailed strong performances off the back of multi-million pound projects.

Infrastructure firm Morgan Sindall and homebuilder Lovell, both part of the national Morgan Sindall Group, have secured several large contracts for 2018 and helped drive profits and their parent company.

Morgan Sindall, which employs around 170 people in East Anglia, won the contract to build the £16m headquarters for marine science agency Cefas (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture) in Lowestoft.

Last year the company completed construction of the £11m Chapel Green SEN School in Old Buckenham, helping the site to double its capacity.

Saul Humphrey, managing director of Morgan Sindall's East region, said: 'Our business in the East has delivered a strong performance – winning a number of key projects, including the new headquarters for world-leading UK marine science agency Cefas, and successfully delivering major schemes across the region including a new £45m Science Centre for Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

'We have a strong project pipeline in place and are confident in the outlook.'

Meanwhile, Lovell has benefitted from contracts with councils in Norfolk including the £20.4m Orchard Place 130 home development in Marsh Lane, King's Lynn, alongside King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, with work already under way for 89 homes in Green Park Avenue in the town.

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In Long Stratton, Lovell, which employs 120 people in East Anglia, is delivering a £7.9m scheme for Big Sky Developments – South Norfolk Council's development company – which will create 50 village homes and 800 sq m of commercial space

Lovell regional managing director Simon Medler said: 'The outlook for 2018 is highly encouraging as we continue to build urgently needed homes across the region.

'Our regional forward order book currently stands at £161m with the company set to complete 484 homes this year in East Anglia.'

Nationally, Morgan Sindall Group increased turnover by 9% to £2.79bn with operating profit up 42% year-on-year at £67.4m.