Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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One in 10 construction firms operating at a loss

28 August 2020

Construction firms are struggling to cope with a decline in business, new figures have revealed. 

Nearly half (46%) of construction companies saw their turnover fall in recent weeks thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

More than one in ten construction firms (12.2% of those surveyed) experienced operating costs that exceeded turnover, effectively operating at a loss.

Nearly half were operating with less than six months’ cash reserves, with 4.5% of construction firms operating with no cash reserves at all.

Nearly 10% admitted they were at a moderate risk of insolvency.

The ONS data showed that 9% of workers in construction companies were still on furlough leave, while 23% were working remotely.

The data is based on responses from 464 construction businesses to a fortnightly business survey assessing the impact of covid-19 on industry, with the latest data covering 27 July to 9 August.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry has hit the larger contractors in recent weeks, with Bouygues, Bam and Persimmon reporting huge losses in interim results.

The Construction Industry Training Board this week announced 110 job cuts as it seeks to balance its books after it suspended levy collections earlier this year.

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