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Osborne chief executive Andy Steele plans to grow housing division

Osborne is to focus on growing its social housing division over the next five years, chief executive Andy Steele has told Construction News.

Mr Steele, who took the role in April 2015, outlined the Surrey-based group’s aim to increase its turnover from £342m in the year to 31 March 2016 to in excess of £500m early next decade.

He outlined plans to reduce the proportion of the firm’s revenue coming from its construction division from 50 to 30 per cent.

Mr Steele said the size of the construction division would continue to grow but would make up less of the overall size of the group by 2020/21.

“At the moment we are a £350m business of which 50 per cent, give or take, is construction” Mr Steele said.

“I want construction to continue to grow but make up less of the overall size of the group.”

Osborne’s construction division – which includes work in the commercial, health and education sectors – had a turnover of £151m in 2015/16.

Its housing division turned over £70.1m for the same period, but Mr Steele hopes it will be nearer the size of the construction division within five years.

He said the proportion of the firm’s revenue coming from affordable housing new-build and maintenance work would be increased from 20 to 30 per cent.

According to Mr Steele, the company has seen a “substantial amount of growth” in this area of the business.

A new Osborne Communities managing director role has been created to consolidate the group’s housing activities. 

Nick Sterling, who was previously Osborne Property Services managing director, now heads up Osborne Communities.

Carol Bailey, who was previously Lakehouse managing director, joined as Osborne Property Services managing director in October.

The infrastructure division will continue to make up about 30 per cent of the business under the growth plans, while the contractor is looking to bid for more roads contracts with local councils in the South-east including Kent, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.

Mr Steele is aiming to grow the annual turnover of the group’s offsite manufacturing business – Innovaré Systems – from £12m to £18m by 2020.

The largest share of the group’s turnover comes from its education work, with the sector accounting for £107.5m of turnover last year.

However, Mr Steele added the group “have their eye on” a growth in health work, which currently makes up 3.4 per cent of annual turnover.

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