Ruth Mitchell

SGW shrugs off downturn to achieve five-fold growth

Having endured a turbulent market, a North East construction company has expanded its workforce from 30 to 150 staff members and has a projected turnover in 2011 of between £30m and £40m.

Middlesbrough-based SGW Construction Group has defied one of the industry’s most difficult periods in recent history to expand both in size and the range of services it offers.

In January, the Office of National Statistics reported a 3.3% slump in construction activity in the final quarter of 2010 – but, largely during the same period, SGW has gone from a being a relatively small family-owned business, with a £7m turnover and 30 staff, to a group of integrated construction-led businesses employing 150 people and with projected turnover in 2011 of between £30m and £40m.

“SGW is now a group offering expertise in just about every aspect of construction and civil engineering, including areas where we previously relied heavily on sub-contractors,” said managing director Chris Lakey.

“We have been bold with our investment, but we are already seeing a payoff – our order book for 2011 looks very healthy.”

SGW has acquired five complementary businesses in quick succession, most recently near neighbours Crinson Liddle, a small but long-established and respected construction company which was hours away from closing its doors and laying off all nine staff, until SGW stepped in.

Since October last year, SGW has also acquired CCS Waste Management and ETS (Engineering Test Services), both based in Hartlepool, as well as new groundwork and painting and decorating divisions.

Established in 1980, SGW is active throughout the North East and Yorkshire areas carrying out works in the public and private sectors ranging in value from £1,000 to £4m.

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