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Specialists Awards finalists: Business Growth

The businesses making the most of industry recovery.

AR Demolition

Since AR Demolition was formed in 2007, the company has already expanded to record a turnover of approximately £8m.

The company’s profits and revenue are also on the increase and more than 120 projects were completed in the past 12 months.

An excellent health and safety record has helped to secure a number of prestigious clients, including Aldi and Network Rail.

FM Conway

FM Conway last year began work on a major £1.2bn Transport for London highways maintenance framework as part of a joint venture.

In addition, the company opened a new £10m asphalt recycling facility and reached into sectors away from highways by winning a competitive tender to restore Cruise Terminal 1 at the Port of Dover.

The firm is forecasting a 24.2 per cent rise in turnover for 2013/14.

JLES Group

Last year was the fifth in succession during which JLES’ turnover increased, with turnover in 2013 up 40 per cent compared with 2012.

This company specialises in adoptions but has recently invested in a number of new brands within the business to broaden its offering.

JLES has also increased its recruitment of apprentices in order to keep up with the growing demand for its services.

Lift & Engineering Services

The largest independent lift company in the UK, Lift & Engineering Services recorded a 25 per cent rise in sales last year, which has propelled the firm’s growth.

An ongoing recruitment drive is expected to see the company reach 100 employees for the first time in its history, while LES also brought the historic National Lift Tower in Northampton back into use for training purposes.

O’Brien Contractors

A four-year self-funded diversification initiative has returned O’Brien Contractors to growth after a decline in turnover and profit during the industry’s recession.

Profits were up by 213 per cent year on year in 2013, and the firm now offers design, levelling, plant hire, construction, finishing, maintenance and facilities management alongside its core business of civil engineering and groundworks.

SERS Energy Solutions

Moving to a larger head office in Caerphilly has allowed SERS Energy Solutions to expand its personnel, while a new regional office was opened in the South-west to complement facilities in the Midlands and Scotland.

The move enabled the company to open a new training academy last year, with dozens of apprentices already employed across a variety of disciplines.

Swanton Consulting

Swanton Consulting has recorded an increase in its turnover of more than 400 per cent during the past 12 months. The size of the company’s workforce also more than trebled over the year.

Swanton developed a new training regime for temporary works co-ordinators and has sponsored a number of bursary schemes in UK education to encourage the next generation of structural engineers.

Three Shires

A record year of sales for Three Shires’ own brand of ecological fencing products contributed to this company’s strong growth, but was not included in a 131 per cent rise in net profit and 31.3 per cent rise in turnover.

The company entered the rail sector in 2013, securing more than £1m of rail business over the last financial year. It also invested significantly in new fleet and equipment to further broaden its capabilities.

Van Elle

Turnover at Van Elle increased by 20 per cent and operating profits by 40 per cent during 2013, with staff numbers also rising by 25 per cent to 300.

New offices were opened in New Zealand in Auckland and Christchurch last year, with the division on track to increase its turnover to £5m within three years - which would constitute more than 10 per cent of the company’s current total.


VolkerLaser has targeted new markets over the past 12 months, leading to significant growth in both the company’s turnover and its employee numbers as the strategy pays dividends.

Multi-million-pound projects such as the company’s work on the Barbican Centre have raised its profile, while new EWI contracts with Nottingham Greener Housing are a first for the company.

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Contact Shane Murphy on 020 3033 2657 or email

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