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Ground Engineering Specialist of the Year: Winner

Winner: Keltbray

Being formed in 2008 just as the UK went into recession hasn’t stopped Keltbray Piling going from strength to strength.

Last year the firm posted a 107 per cent increase in turnover to £20.5m and tripled its profit margin to 10.3 per cent.

That’s more than double the margin of any of the 10 biggest ground engineering firms listed in the CN100.

The judges probed the sustainability of this rapid growth but Keltbray was quick to point out that it mitigates risk by keeping a 2.5 per cent cash reserve on every job.

On top of this, the coming year is looking positive for the company, with 75 per cent of 2015’s budgeted turnover already secured.

“A well-oiled, well-run business that has gained a justified reputation. There is no doubt it is very responsive to its customers’ requirements”

Judges’ comment

The business is also manoeuvring itself to launch sheet piling and restricted access divisions to further ensure expansion in the near term.

Its projects include a big £10m win for the Chelsea Barracks development and a completed £5m contract in Brentford for client Sky, which Keltbray reported was “delighted” with the company’s performance.

Keltbray delivered a total of 8,000 hours of training to its 75 employees over the past 12 months, which averages out at three weeks per person.

The judges were similarly impressed with the company’s focus on the health of its workforce, with its wellbeing programme helping not only to retain staff but to improve productivity across the business.

Keltbray is an innovator and drew praise from the judges with initiatives such as hand-held mobile devices for all site-based engineers and designs for its own plunge column frames.

On health and safety, the business recorded impressive figures for 2014. These included zero reportable accidents and 12 incidents, equating to an AFR of 0.0019.

Not resting on its laurels, Keltbray will be fitting defibrillators to all its piling rigs this year and has successfully trialled a 3D camera overview system for its machines as well.

The firm is keen to plug the skills gap and is ahead of the industry curve on both diversity and gender.

For the latter, it is able to say that one in three of its onsite piling engineers are women and is targeting one in two by 2016.

Finalists:

Abbey Pynford Geo Structures

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering

CGL

Deep Soil Mixing

Groundforce

Mole Group

O’Brien Contractors

Van Elle

Readers' comments (1)

  • Graeme Sanderson

    "The firm is keen to plug the skills gap and is ahead of the industry curve on both diversity and gender."

    "For the latter, it is able to say that one in three of its onsite piling engineers are women and is targeting one in two by 2016."

    Great news!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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