Building maintenance contractor Lakehouse has reported 24% growth in turnover and a 48% rise in pre-tax profits.
Aided by a series of acquisitions, Lakehouse has been in growth mode for the past few years.
In the year to 30 September 2013, group turnover rose from £153.7m to £190.6m. Profit before tax increased to £7.1m from £4.8m the previous year.
Lakehouse’s core markets are social housing and public sector building work. It has framework deals with several London boroughs and housing associations.
Acquisitions in recent years have included West Sussex-based fire safety and compliance specialist Allied Protection in November 2012 and K&T Heating Services, a gas servicing, installation and compliance business, in 2011.
In October 2013 Lakehouse also acquired East Anglia-based Foster Property Maintenance (FPM), which also specialises in public sector building maintenance work. FPM is set to add another £35m to Lakehouse’s turnover this year, and maybe more, as Lakehouse uses the acquisition to expand its footprint across the east of England. .
Excluding the impact of its acquisitions in 2012/13, Lakehouse’s turnover grew by 20.4%, with a 96% increase in operating profit, it said.
Lakehouse’s growth has been driven by Stuart Black, the former Mears chief executive who bought a minority stake in the firm in 2007, when turnover was £50m. He became executive chairman. Founder Steve Rawlings remains chief executive and majority owner.
Stuart Black said of last year’s results: “These results reflect another year of progress and development at Lakehouse. In current market conditions, to again report increased turnover, increased profit and very low debt levels despite our ambitious acquisition strategy, demonstrates the strength and consistency of our business’ performance. We’re very proud to have been a positive story for the construction industry through a tumultuous period and to remain a reliable and committed partner for our clients and the communities they serve. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their dedication, ambition and unswerving hard work to deliver another successful year.
“We’ve continued our programme to acquire successful and complementary businesses which share similar client bases. Welcoming Foster Property Maintenance to the group has greatly expanded our geographical reach in the East of England. Meanwhile, K&T Heating and Allied Protection continue to help us improve our service offering to clients and our compliance work for thousands of tenants across the South East.
“I think the key to this success has been providing clients with partnership and counsel in drastically changing times for the social housing, education and public buildings sectors and we remain focused on delivery for communities with unique needs. This strong record means our long-term outlook is very positive, with a strong order book and tender success rate, as well as ambitious plans for further growth of the business.”