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A lack of work is the construction industry's biggest concern

Private construction and property businesses have commended the financial support given to the industry by banks according to a report from accountants Grant Thornton.

Research from the firm’s latest annual International Business Report (IBR) reveals that 78 per cent of construction and real estate private busineses classed lenders as supportive or very supportive towards their business.

The report found the greatest concern for firms in the construction and real estate sector is the shortage of orders and reduced demand with 46 per cent ranking it as their number one concern.

The report, which canvassed the opinions of chief executives and chairmen within 500 large and medium-sized UK businesses, also revealed cutting costs with 21 per cent followed by a new management structure with 19 per cent were the most common initiatives taken by construction firms to increase profitability.

Grant Thornton construction partner Kathryn Hiddleston said: “Lender support to construction companies is pretty much in line with that given to businesses in other sectors as lenders will be seeking to minimise the chances of non-repayment.

“However, while there is improvement, obtaining funding from lenders in the first place continues to be the real challenge.”

Ms Hiddleston added: “Despite the lack of credit, the shortage of orders and reduced demand is the main concern for construction businesses.

“Their prospects for revenue and selling prices have obviously been impacted by this but there will be no light at the end of the tunnel until the economy picks up and leads to an increase in the building projects in the industrial and commercial sectors.”