Employee-owned contractor posts 40% revenue boost

Employee-owned Neilcott Construction saw double-digit percentage growth in turnover and pre-tax profit last year.

In the Kent-based contractor’s accounts for the 2023 calendar year, filed last week with Companies House, the firm posted £138.9m in revenue, up significantly from £100.3m the previous year.

Pre-tax profit grew more modestly from £2.6m to £2.9m, but this still marked a 12.7 per cent year-on-year increase.

Managing director David Huxley described a “creditable performance being achieved despite the ongoing challenge of inflation throughout most of 2023”.

Neilcott became an employee-owned trust in 2021. Its improved financial performance last year enabled the firm to pay out a total of £250,040 to eligible employees.

“Further progress has been made in respect of the progressive reconstruction of the board since the move to employee-owned status in 2021,” the accounts said.

A further appointment is scheduled for mid-2024 to conclude the reconstruction of the board and allow for the departure of three current board members.

Neilcott holds no bank loans and it reported a £4.7m increase in cash to end 2023 with £17.8m in the bank.

Headcount increased slightly from 152 in 2022 to 159 in 2023 and Neilcott’s annual wage bill rose by 4.5 per cent to £13.7m.

According to data from Glenigan, the company has 75 active projects.

Completed jobs this year include fit-out work at offices in Tottenham Court Road, London (pictured). The firm also specialises in modern methods of construction and refurbishment projects.

In his strategic report accompanying the annual accounts, Huxley added that Neilcott’s turnover represented a “small percentage of the pipeline of work which is potentially available within our immediate market”.

He added: “Provided flexibility is retained to allow the company to continue to respond proactively and standards of delivery are maintained, the company will continue to robustly address cyclical market trends.”

Last year Neilcott opened a new regional office in Hemel Hempstead, adding to its existing offices in Orpington and Winchester, to support project execution in the north of London and the northern home counties.

Huxley said that current planning for 2024 “indicates a similar turnover to 2023” as the market is expected to stabilise.

He added: “With overall gross margin expected to begin to recover towards historic levels, during 2024 capital contributions arising from the move to employee ownership have been accelerated.”

However, he said that Neilcott is ”vigilant” over risks to trade through the Suez Canal, related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

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