Kingston Joinery managing director Craig O’Leary is confident the firm can continue its growth into 2019.
The East Yorkshire-based commercial joinery specialist will see its turnover exceed £8m for the first time in 2018, with predicted growth to a £10m turnover over the coming 12 months.
And despite the uncertainly hanging over UK businesses due to ongoing Brexit saga, Mr O’Leary believes his company is well prepared to handle all that is ahead.
“This has been a key 12 months for Kingston Joinery and I am certainly very happy with our current position,” said Mr O’Leary, who is experienced in leading a business through uncertain economic conditions having established the firm in the face of a recession back in 2007.
“Like all business, and especially those in construction, we are heading into some uncertain times with Brexit. Many suppliers both in the UK and mainland Europe are presently not able to offer cost certainty on material prices, so we have that to contend with.
“However, we have strengthened every part of the business over the past 12 months. We have added experienced people to our senior team and worked hard on our long-standing relationships with suppliers and clients, as well as adding some new important customers, some whom we expect to be working with in the early part of next year.
“Without doubt Brexit is having an impact and the market conditions are challenging with demanding margins. Securing payment from some projects has also been challenging over then second half of this year, and that is possibly due to many holding onto money for as long as possible.
“Despite this we have a pipeline of around £20m worth of opportunities that we are actively working on, and our track record over the past few years is getting us results when tendering for work on major developments.”
It has been the establishment of key partnerships with suppliers over the past 12 months which has pleased Mr O’Leary, particularly in light of the changing political landscape.
“We have built on our existing partnerships with leading suppliers in Europe and the UK, and these are companies we have excellent understandings and relationships with,” he added.
“This has enabled us to not only offer premium bespoke products for major developments in the UK, but also introduce a new third party accredited industry-leading fire door-set to the market.
“This has of course been of paramount importance in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. We’ve also focused time training our teams to be able to certify fire doors as they are installed, bringing great advantages to developers.
“Added to this we have established a strong relationship with Vitral Roof Glazing, one of Europe’s most experienced and dedicated suppliers of roof lights and glass roof systems.
“This relationship has started well with more than £100,000 worth of orders and significant interest heading into next year.”
Work carried out by the firm this year has included a £2m contract with Interserve for a full internal fit out, doors, general joinery and 8,500 square metres of external cladding on a new multi-million pound residential development in Leeds, a contract which runs into 2019.
It also provided the full internal joinery fit on the new Hilton Hotel at Doncaster Racecourse, as well as continuing to work on a £1.4m contract at the £400m redevelopment of London’s Islington Square.
The firm has also installed 2,000 square metres of windows on the first residential phase at the prestigious £1bn North West Cambridge Development, the largest single capital project undertaken by the University of Cambridge in its 800-year history.
In its own locality of East Yorkshire it completed a joinery package at the new Preston Road Women’s Centre for Hull-based Hobson & Porter, and just last month completed a six-figure internal joinery contract at a new £9.4m cancer treatment and support services unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, in Derbyshire.
Mr O’Leary said: “We have worked on a number of significant, award winning projects over the past 12 months, but during that time we have been determined to ensure we have continued to do the basics and not be distracted by that growth. Our values remain the same as day one, excellent bespoke products and customer service at a good price.
“We have focused on successfully maintaining our various industry accreditations and adding to the quality of our team. We believe this has left us well placed to see continued growth and develop into new areas and lines of business in 2019.”