Carillion Adapting to Changing Global Construction Landscape

Amidst further bad news for the construction industry, with a weak outlook and confidence reported at an 18-month low in September, Carillion is rather bucking the trend. Its latest market update forecasts that earnings growth for 2010 will be in line with market expectations. The consensus view of market analysts is that pre-tax profit for the year will be around £181 million.The first half of 2010 saw pre-tax profits rise by 17%, even though revenues were lower, falling by 11% from £2.82 billion last year to £2.5 billion. This was due partly to the company focusing on improving its margins rather than overall income, with margins rising from 2.5% to 2.8%. Orders worth over £3 billion were gained in the first six months, taking the total order book to £18.9 billion.Not Such Good News for Construction…Reading more deeply into the figures, however, shows that UK growth is focused largely on the company’s support services activities rather than construction while any expansion in construction is mainly abroad.Support services is Carillon’s biggest division in terms of profits and has a target operating margin of around 5%, which the company expects to achieve this year. It has reported its strongest ever pipeline of contract opportunities in this area. Much of this is put down to the public sector outsourcing more of its work in an effort to cut costs. However, this is by no means the only source of the growth, with new orders in the last quarter including a £60 million contract in the financial services sector.The figures for support services have also been boosted by the signing of a contract extension with EDF Energy Networks that is worth £200 million over a 5-year period. The original 4-year contract, which started in 2007, has now been extended from January 2011. Under the contract, Carillion provides infrastructure services for sub-stations as well as cabling to support the electricity network in the East of England. The company also expects revenue from its Openreach support services contract to improve from £115 million to £145 million a year as a result of an extension to the contract’s scope. Increased activity and the need for central and local government to reduce their costs has resulted in an expectation for growth in UK support services for at least each of the next three years.Prospects in the public sector are improved by Carillion being awarded a Buying Solutions framework agreement for facilities management. The effect of this is that public sector organisations can select from one of eight framework holders without having to go through a full procurement process. This not only speeds up the process but also makes Carillion more likely to win the work.Construction Growth Focused Overseas…On the construction side, expansion is likely to come largely from overseas. In addition to the UK, the company operates in the Middle East, Canada and the Caribbean. It has reported strong revenue growth in the Middle East and believes that increased activity in Canada will largely offset any reduction in UK construction work. Canada and the Middle East are both expected to see a doubling in annual revenue over the next 3-5 years, reaching around £1 billion in each of the areas.A major success in the Middle East has been the winning of a £124 million construction contract in Dubai by the company’s Al Futtaim Carillion joint venture. The contract is to build two residential towers, each of 45 storeys with a three-level basement car park, ground floor and a three level podium, for Emaar Properties PJSC. They are part of a 500 acre Downtown Dubai development and follow the successful completion of three major projects for the same client and in the same area. Downtown Dubai is the site of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at present.Although Carillion reckons it has a well-balanced mix of current work and future orders, the balance seems to be shifting overseas in terms of construction and more towards support services within the UK. In recognition of this change, the company has announced that is plans to reduce the size of its UK construction business, concentrating more on support services and contracts for PPP projects.UK Construction Revnue to Shrink Going Forward…The expectation is that UK construction revenue will shrink by one third over the next three years, reducing from £1.8 billion to £1.2 billion annually. This will mainly result from the company being more selective over the contracts it takes on as well as focusing on the growth areas of the business in the UK. At the same time, strong international construction growth is expected, particularly in Canada and the Middle East.For now at least, Carillons strategy seems a sound one. They are an example of an adapting business that is focusing on the long-term UK growth areas of FM and outsourcing, whilst using their construction expertise and knowledge to maximise opportunities in ‘developing’ markets. However, what this trend means for the long term job prospects of the UK’s bricks-and-sticks professionals remains to be seen…

Profitable Careers in the Construction Industry

There are tons of jobs on hand in the construction business that plays major importance in the industry, and many, if not most contractors turn to recruiting and staffing companies to fill the team for the projects.With the rapid growth of construction industry, more and more private and government sectors invest in this market, and as a matter of fact, even public investment companies are joining in this market, making the industry so much bigger than before. The multi-billion dollar industry of construction is widely spread all over the world, covering suppliers, contractors, sub-contractors, producers, engineers, designers, installers and many more specialized professionals. Thus, the variety of jobs needed in construction speaks of how huge this market has become.The trend of decomposing older establishments and reinstating new ones with modern designs is a global phenomenon in construction industry, and with every little innovation requires a lot of creative and professional personnel to get the job done. Here are ten of the hottest jobs available in construction business today:1. ArchitectsThese are the brains behind every design of the construction. They work and make the whole plan of the building for every detail of the design, from safety, sturdiness and aesthetics of the building. They are also amongst the highest paid professionals in the industry.2. Civil EngineersThese professionals look more into the technical part of the construction. They implement those plans drawn out by the architects, thus they always work around and in close contact with the architect. Their job basically revolves more in the execution of the plans.3. Building Services EngineersThis type of engineer works more in the essential amenities of the construction, such as installations. Their job is to provide the most cost-effective details in the interior aspects of the building, such as heating, electrical wirings, ventilation, lighting, lifts, public health, safety measures and devise, sanitation, fire protection, etc.4. Building SurveyorsThese professionals are often referred as the biggest enemies of builders and workers, as their job revolves in visiting and inspecting the construction site. They write their inspection reports, which is very important for the safety and quality of the building.5. Electrical EngineersThe job of this kind of engineer is all about the electrical support of the building in before and after the construction.6. Facilities ManagerThis one probably is the most interesting career in construction industry. Facilities management involves both planning and implementing new facilities for the construction. Other job under their responsibilities includes upkeep and maintenance of the structure.7. Quantity SurveyorTheir main job is to take care of all cost related to building, from sorting the initial costs to cost cutting tasks.8. ManufacturersConstruction needs building materials, and with that, manufacturers play a very profitable big role in this business. However, this job requires a lot of investments too.9. SuppliersBuilders don’t really deal directly to the manufacturers, as suppliers are there to act as a middleman for every transaction they want to make. They ask for the materials the builders will need, get them from the manufacturers, then sell it to the builders and earn commission on the process.10. ContractorsThese professionals take the contracts for buildings, and their job basically starts from pre-decided digits and finish with a fixed price. They’re involved right from the planning, purchasing of construction materials, down to the construction process.

How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Free Construction Leads in Five Steps

While you are desperately searching for construction jobs to bid on, others brag about generating more leads than they actually need. You see their companies growing and taking over the market, while you struggle to avoid bankruptcy. If you happen to get into a conversation during a local meeting or constructions conventions, they laugh at you saying that they owe it all to their LinkedIn profile.It is all a lie. You have been active on LinkedIn for years, you have a great profile, a lot of connections, and, yet, no leads. Do they know something that you don’t? Are they only lying to distract you?Indeed, LinkedIn is a great place to start generating construction project leads, and, contrary to what you may be thinking, you do not have to spend hours every day updating your account, adding connections and writing nonsense. There are only five simple steps that you need to follow, and the results will undoubtedly begin to show up.The 1st Step: Make a Commitment for One Week DayYou could commit to connect with five or ten present or previous business associates. Just by sending them an invitation, you manage to capture their attention and, the next time they or someone they know need construction services of any kind, your name may be the first to come up.The 2nd Step: Join 15 Construction Related Groups in One Month It does not matter if you join one group every two days or three-four groups at the end of the week, the purpose is to exceed the 2-3 limit that many people and companies stick to. It is time you got out of the box and started thinking out of the box, and these groups are a great way to begin.As a member, you will also see whenever new construction jobs to bid appear, and, thus, have the chance to bid for them or at least get to know the requirements and prepare the necessary workmanship and equipment offers for future bids.The 3rd Step: in Every New Group That You Have Joined, on Each of the First Five Days after Joining, Start a DiscussionBelieve it or not, it will help you to make a lot of new friends and even earn their respect and admiration, assuming that you start discussions of interest. These discussions can actually include links to your website or to photos or videos of certain projects that you have completed. You can never know when someone needs the same services and remembers what you did.The 4th Step: Access the Answers Section and Answer at Least 2 Questions a Week. Besides creating a positive image of yourself as a professional and of your business in general, you can also include backlinks to your website, information on your most successful projects. This way, you create the premises for generating construction project leads easily.The 5th Step: Take Advantage of All of LinkedIn Tools and Features.You can create DirectAds with links to your website or to your previous projects’ portfolio, use the ReadingList to show your interests or the WordPress application to educate your target clients. These tools and applications may not help you find new construction jobs to bid, but will allow you to become a powerful presence online without too much effort.Measure Your Efforts and the Results They BringThe results will, obviously, depend on what you do and how you do it. Some of these steps may prove more helpful than others, so it is up to you to track and evaluate the results they bring and to find the most profitable balance for your business.It is important that you spend little to nothing on this marketing stage of your business, and that you do not invest more than 10 to 15 minutes a day in the above described steps, perhaps a bit more in the beginning, until you find your rhythm.The results are guaranteed by the specific of LinkedIn as a social environment in itself. Since it focuses on the professional side of its users’ life, it will allow you to connect with your target clients, to keep in touch with your existing clients and even to spy on your competition, it will allow you to make hundreds of new connections and show to your connections everything that traditional marketing campaigns cannot or would require a fortune to.With LinkedIn, your constructions company can grow exponentially without you giving up your free time or investing a fortune in the process – it is all a matter of making the right decisions and implementing them smartly and timely.