THE construction and building firm that helped to capture the Tour de France spirit by completing a velodrome in Yorkshire has seen its profits rise as the economic recovery continues.
Esh Group has enjoyed strong growth in Yorkshire with revenue rising 50 per cent to £60m over the last year.
Based in Leeds, the company’s Yorkshire operation has seen strong demand for commercial build and social housing projects.
The company’s civil operation, Lumsden & Carroll, delivered major projects for Yorkshire Water and completed a new Velodrome in York.
The 250m outdoor track at York Sport Village has been jointly funded by the University of York and British Cycling to the tune of £1.1m.
Brian Manning, the Esh Group’s chief executive, said: “Cycling generally is picking up and the Tour de France is going to help that.”
Around five million people lined the streets of Yorkshire when the Tour de France came to our region for two days in July.
Turnover across the group, which is headquartered in Durham, grew by 10 per cent, to £192.5m, with profit before tax at £3.2m, a big improvement from the £0.6m recorded in 2012. Cash in bank at year end was £27.6m.
Mr Manning added: “This time last year we reported Esh Group to be in really good shape and we have continued to show this is the case.
“Our diverse product range delivers quality through brands which are well-recognised across the North East such as Lumsden & Carroll, Esh Property Services, Esh Build and Deerness Fencing & Landscaping all of which have and continue to serve us well.
“Our aim is now to replicate the breadth and quality of these services across the greater North and Scotland from our existing bases in Yorkshire and Cumbria and those newly acquired through the addition of Esh Border Construction to the group.
“We have now been working beyond the North East for seven years and this year we have strengthened our presence in other regions by investing in regional structures to ensure our delivery is consistent. This is a significant undertaking which has, of course, presented new challenges – all of which are well within our capabilities.
“As part of our investment in regional structures we will be carrying out a comprehensive review prior to updating our IT systems in order that we are well-equipped to deliver the next phase of our growth.”
Mr Manning said that turnover this year could reach the £250m mark, adding: “We’re putting more resources into Yorkshire and the Humber.”
He said the industry had been suffering from a shortage of skilled staff, and this issue could be addressed by hiring more young people.
He said: “We have got to give young people a chance.”
He said Esh carried out vital work for Yorkshire Water; unblocking drains and ensuring that the waste water systems keep functioning.
Esh Group, which employs 200 people in Yorkshire, plans to take on 150 apprentices in the next three years across Yorkshire, Cumbria and the North East. The apprentices will join the Esh Academy and benefit from training and mentoring.
In the last year 6,200 students at schools across the North benefitted from the ‘Building My Skills’ programme which is co-ordinated by Esh Group and delivered with support from business partners.
Esh Group has partnered with Swedish company Sodra to build zero energy housing, under the Trivselhus brand, across the North of England. Developments of the eco-homes are already underway in Bowburn, near Durham, Sunderland, Cumbria and Northumberland.
In the year, Esh Group has continued to work alongside other regional construction companies in order to communicate the disparities of public procurement processes.
Mr Manning said: “Substantial challenges still exist in the area of public procurement where we continue to fight the cause for both ourselves and regional contractors in general.”