The seven firms on our shortlist excel in a huge range of environments, from rail and housing through to coastal defence and sports stadiums.
EIC Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
EIC’s 2015 strategy saw it target M&E projects with a value of £5m-£10m, up from their previous £3m ceiling.
This ambitious goal was achieved with three contract wins within six months: the Barclaycard Arena with Bam; a Ministry of Defence base contract with Carillion; and Coral Springs retirement village, also through Bam. Turnover overall was up in 2015, while the firm also took on five apprentices and a trainee administrator.
FK Group Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
FK Group increased turnover from £46.3m to £70m in 2014/15, with over £20m already secured for 2016/17. The building envelope specialist expanded into the United Arab Emirates, winning work in the region and establishing a new office in Dubai, as well as two new offices in the UK in Birmingham and central London.
Landmark projects include work on Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium South Stand expansion, as well as using offsite manufacturing to deliver a glazed façade for a new council office building in Stoke.
Keltbray Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
The past year saw Keltbray Group add sheet piling and a new plant electrification hire venture for rail clients to its portfolio, as it increased turnover once again.
The firm delivered 48,000 training hours in 2015 – 50 hours per employee. It also increased apprenticeships and graduate traineeships by 30 per cent to 75 individuals, as well as providing training for 350 long-term unemployed people.
Major contract wins came from Battersea Power Station, Crossrail, Royal Mail Group and Network Rail – with long-term contracts providing a pipeline of works up to 2021.
Mackley Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
Mackley doubled its turnover last year and continued to win high-profile projects in challenging sectors.
In particular, it has been acting as principal contractor on the Brighton i360 project, which will be the world’s tallest moving observation platform once complete.
The firm has also successfully delivered the £30m Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence scheme, which improved a 700 m length of shingle beach and involved the construction of a 1,700 m rock revetment and wave wall, providing increased flood protection to 1,300 homes and 100 businesses.
O Brien Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
Between 2014 and 2015, O’Brien Contractors increased turnover by 60 per cent, from £17.5m to £28m, while also increasing profit by 226 per cent.
Client satisfaction is high and the firm has continued to invest in software and plant, as well as increasing training spend year on year by 109 per cent – an increase of £94,000.
In addition, the firm recruited five new apprentices in 2015, and staff turnover in general is just 10 per cent (zero for office staff).
Oktra Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
Oktra has surpassed its target of a 10 per cent increase in turnover per annum, reaching a figure of £112m last year, growth of 148 per cent.
The strategy has seen investment in developing two sister companies: Affinity Flooring and Oktra Client Services, which have also provided staff with more opportunities for career development.
Repeat business in 2015 was a healthy 80 per cent, with 98.6 per cent positive feedback from clients.
Van Elle Specialist over 25 Specialists 2016
From 2010 to 2014, Van Elle saw turnover grow from £29.3m to £46.6m, its highest ever, with profits also rising from £498,000 to £3.9m – and turnover rose to over £70m last year.
Employee numbers have jumped from 380 to 430 in the last 12 months to reflect this growth – and the firm has worked for more than one million hours without a RIDDOR.
Rail has been a particular growth area, with Van Elle collaborating with principal contractors and directly with Network Rail on some of the UK’s largest and most technically challenging rail projects.