Scaffolding specialist bucks tough market conditions

Inflationary pressures and higher interest rates failed to stop Essex-based D&B Scaffolding from posting higher revenue and profit for last year.

Its latest accounts, covering the year ending 31 August 2023, show that turnover increased by 2.2 per cent from £18.5m to £18.9m.

And pre-tax profit almost doubled from £1m to £1.8m for the firm, which was the 10th biggest scaffolding company by turnover in last year’s CN Specialists Index.

D&B Scaffolding chief executive and owner Gerald Dobbs said: “While margins have remained low during this financial period we have good control of our expenditure and have worked within our resources, negating the need to purchase more.”

The firm’s client base includes major housebuilders such as Bellway, Berkeley, Crest Nicholson and Taylor Wimpey. It has also provided scaffolding services for CN100 contractors such as Hill (pictured).

Dobbs acknowledged that “unstable market conditions” in the housing sector, caused by inflation and rising interest rates, had created “uncertainty” in the market.

But the firm’s “current financial position is strong considering the unstable market conditions within the construction industry and in particular housing” over the past year, he added.

D&B Scaffolding has no bank loan debt and it was able to improve its cash position from £3.9m in 2021/22 to £5.9m the following year.

Dobbs cited “good cashflow control measures, which leaves us in an extremely positive position considering the market conditions we have operated in during the past few years”.

The firm employed a monthly average of 41 staff in 2022/23, up from 38 the year before.

It paid out no dividends compared with £600,000 in 2021/22.

Dobbs said D&B Scaffolding will “remain very measured” in making future investments, adding that the firm is optimistic that the housing market will recover towards the end of 2024 and “return to somewhere near normal to those before the unprecedented inflation rates”.

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